March 28, 2023

Sitrep for Mar. 27-28 (as of 8:30 a.m.) 

On the night of Mar. 28, Iranian-made loitering munitions were spotted in Kyiv, and anti-air defense sounds were captured on a video. The video doesn't show if the UAV reached its target or was downed. There were also several videos of UAVs flying over the Dnipro River. As of right now, we do not know what the consequences of the attack will be.

On the morning of Mar. 27, Russian forces attacked Sloviansk. S-300 missiles reportedly hit a military commissariat building, killing 2 and injuring 29 people. Seven multi-story residential buildings and five single-family houses were damaged.

Ukrainian forces attacked Russian-occupied Melitopol. Russian officials claim civilian buildings were damaged. According to Ukrainian authorities, the target was believed to be a building that housed Russian security forces. We have not yet seen reports of casualties, and there are no other details yet.

In addition, the Kalininskyi district of Donetsk was attacked. Local occupation authorities claim that a HIMARS MLRS struck civilian infrastructure. Nonetheless, a GAZ-66 military truck is visible in photographs of the strike's aftermath. The place of the strike has already been geolocated: it is reported that the internal troops' command of the so-called DPR's Ministry of Internal Affairs is located across the street from the attack site.

Deliveries of Western Military Vehicles

Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov announced that British Challenger 2 tanks, German Marder infantry fighting vehicles, American Stryker armored fighting vehicles and Cougar MRAP, and infantry mobility vehicles entered service with the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces. It likely means that the vehicles are already on the territory of Ukraine at the disposal of its military and may be used in combat in the nearest future.

The Federal Ministry of Defense of Germany has confirmed that all 18 of the pledged Leopard 2A6 tanks have arrived in Ukraine. Those are Leopards of the latest version. The ones of older modifications will be delivered later after their maintenance is completed.

We expect that the primary goal of the Ukrainian counter-offensive will be to unblock Bakhmut. The Ukrainian group of troops there is still in great danger since the ongoing muddy season and the terrain of this region are now playing into the hands of pro-Russian forces (the town is in a lowland, so it is convenient to advance and strike the supply routes). Discussions over the decision to hold Bakhmut despite heavy losses continue among Western military experts.

Responding to the indignation of Western countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has stated that tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus are being deployed within the concept of the Union State [a supranational union consisting of Belarus and Russia], while China has opposed such deployment.

A photo of the side of a Russian T-90M tank fitted with Relikt explosive reactive armor tiles has appeared. One of the tiles is destroyed as a result of a normal operation of the protection after being hit by an RPG-7 grenade. The tank itself is not damaged.

In various regions of Russia, reservists are beginning to be actively encouraged to sign a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Governor of the Chelyabinsk region Alexey Teksler announced regional support measures for South Urals residents who have signed a contract. It is proposed that they receive approximately the same payments as those promised to the mobilized. Similar support measures have been announced in Buryatia and Ingushetia [Russia’s constituent republics].

A staged video has been published with supposedly Ukrainian soldiers cutting off a civilian car with a woman and a child, accusing them of not allowing the convoy to pass, threatening to shoot them, and firing several shots into the air. The filming location is geolocated between Makiivka and Donetsk in the territory occupied by Russia in 2014-2015, and the “Ukrainian soldiers” speak Ukrainian badly. Additionally, Internet users noted that the body of the “military” pickup truck was made by a small Russian company. If we imagine that the video is real and the woman is driving somewhere near the war zone where you can meet military convoys, then even just having a video recorder is very dangerous, as they have been banned on the territory of Ukraine since the beginning of the current invasion.

Ukrainian infantryman Ruslan Zubarev with the call sign "Predator" from the 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade fighting near Bakhmut, became famous because of a video in which he repelled an attack of the Russian special forces almost single-handedly, only with the help of a fellow soldier supplying ammunition. In one of his interviews, Zubarev said that he dreamed of a 5.56mm rifle but could not buy it since he was only 21 years old, and according to Ukrainian laws, you cannot legally own a rifle under the age of 25. General Valerii Zaluzhnyi [Commander-in-Chief of the AFU] awarded him the Golden Cross medal and a signed M4 5.56mm rifle as an award weapon.