RUSSIA/UKRAINE WAR: A 40-MILE RUSSIAN CONVOY OUTSIDE KYIV IS ‘DISRUPTED’

 

RUSSIA/UKRAINE WAR: A 40-MILE RUSSIAN CONVOY OUTSIDE KYIV IS ‘DISRUPTED’

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine now past the one-week threshold, fighting continued to escalate. And in the south, Russian troops took control of the city of Kherson. To the north, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and its capital, Kyiv, was subjected to aerial and artillery bombardment. However, the Russian advance was slowed by stiff resistance and apparent logistical problems.

Perhaps nothing came to represent more than a convoy of Russian chariots stretched along various sections of the road north of Kyiv, sometimes up to 40 miles in length.

Satellite images captured by US-based company Maxar Technologies were first published on Sunday, showing hundreds of vehicles, including supply trucks, tanks, armored vehicles and artillery scattered on the road.

A 40-mile Russian convoy outside Kyiv is ‘disrupted’ – and a big sitting duck

Maksar satellite images from February 28 of the southern tip of a large military convoy on the outskirts of Antonov Airport. (Maxar Technologies/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Russian column ‘has not made any significant progress, geographically speaking, in the past 24 to 36 hours,’ and called the Russian advance a stop.

Experts and observers have focused on two possible reasons for the delay: logistics and a pause needed for Russian forces due to more-than-expected Ukrainian resistance before the next stage of their advance begins.

‘It reflects the fact that this invasion was in fact poorly planned, poorly planned, poorly prepared, and poorly managed,’ Frederic W. Director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, Kagan, told the New York Times on Tuesday. . This column reflects, in part, that Russia has been quick to adapt to the problems they created in the way they prepared and carried out this attack.’

‘We think they faced logistical and sustainability challenges – we don’t think they fully anticipated them,’ Kirby said on Wednesday.

A 40-mile Russian convoy outside Kyiv is ‘disrupted’ – and a big sitting duck

This February 23, 2022 photo shows a convoy of Russian military vehicles moving from the Russian border city of Rostov towards the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

From Operation Market Garden to the so-called ‘Death Highway’ during the Gulf War, it doesn’t take a tactical genius to figure out that hundreds of vehicles suspended on dozens of miles of roads are not a sound military strategy. This is especially true because muddy conditions on the ground make it difficult for tanks to operate in the open.

These vehicles, some spread far apart, some crowded with two and three vehicles side by side, are still vulnerable to attack from From both sides and from the air unless there is an aggressive defensive effort to protect the entire lane. Cars out of fuel are blocking the road and need repair. The subsequent regrouping and reorganization of units presents its own set of time-consuming logistical challenges. 

Despite the logistical challenges faced by Russian forces, and the success Ukraine has already had in striking Russian shields, attacking what appears to be a large target may be more complex than it appears.

‘We have seen that Ukraine has been very effective with its drones, especially Bayraktars [Bayraktar TB2], but these are limited resources,’ said John Amble, managing editor of the Modern Warfare Institute at West Point. ‘You don’t want to risk them unless it’s a priority target, which is now the artillery pounding those cities.’

Amble also noted that Russian forces are almost certainly learning and adjusting their tactics, possibly incorporating air.

In a related development, A plane carrying Russian civilians en route to the High Arctic landed in Yellowknife on Tuesday, according to the country’s Northwest Infrastructure Minister.

‘It appears that the aircraft and its passengers were on their way to Resolute, Nunavut, with the intention of undertaking an overland expedition to the North Pole in a large all-terrain vehicle,’ Diane Archie told the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Archie said Transport Canada is now working with Canada Border Services to assess the matter.

In an email to CBC late Wednesday, a Department of Transportation spokesperson confirmed that the seized aircraft in Yellowknife was chartered carrying foreign Russian nationals, and that Transport Canada was working with the Canada Border Services Agency to assess the matter.

The assessment ‘will determine whether there has been any violation of the recently announced Notice to Pilots (NOTAM) prohibiting Russian aircraft (owned, leased or certified) from operating in Canadian airspace,’ the spokesperson said in the email.

According Transport Canada, Russian airline Aeroflot has violated Canadian airspace after being banned

The aircraft is prohibited from leaving Yellowknife Airport until Transport Canada has completed its assessment.

Canada’s transport minister announced on February 27 that it would close its airspace to Russian aircraft operators after similar measures from other countries. On Monday, Transport Canada accused a Russian Aeroflot airliner of violating the ban.

‘Potential consequences and enforcement action will be determined as soon as the facts become clear,’ Archie said of the plane that landed in Yellowknife.

The minister did not say what happened to the passengers on the plane.

Diane Archie, NWT Infrastructure Minister  in the legislature Wednesday. (CBC)

‘We are all aware of the horrible and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and I appreciate that we are all very vigilant in this world, including those of us in the Northwest Territories, who remain concerned about the Russian government’s aggression towards its ‘peaceful neighbours’,’ Archie said.

Archie was responding to a question from Hay River South MLA, Rocky Simpson, who was careful with his wording.

He said, ‘I don’t want to shed light on the situation, and I don’t want to look like this. The question sounds like The Russians Are Coming, because the case is serious.’

For her part, Archie had a hard time answering. I’m just shivering,’ she said, as she described receiving a call regarding the trip on Tuesday. ‘Oh, sorry, it’s hard to explain what some of the answers are.’

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