Russian forces in southern Ukraine, south of Zaporizhzhia, appear to have lost some territory to Ukrainian counterattacks. On the other hand, Russian forces advancing along the Sea of Azov have linked up with Russian and separatist forces advancing west from Donetsk province, in the region of Mariupol. In the north, Russian forces have been stalled by Ukrainian resistance, and in a sign that the Russian military operation may be seriously behind schedule, there is talk that Russian forces in the north will be supported by Belarussian forces, probably in the form of airborne units. Compare the above map and the apparent setbacks it depicts, with Russian gains on the last day of February 2022.
Russian forces in northern Ukraine appear to have experienced some setbacks, particularly in the region between Sumy and Kyiv. As seen on the map below, on 25-26 February, Russian forces were occupying a continuous stretch of territory, 30-40 miles deep in some places. However, in a series of counterattacks and ambushes, Ukrainian military units and popular militias broke contact between Russian forces along the Mena-Shostka direction, and forced open a wedge between Russian groups, all the way to the international border. Ukrainian forces also broke the encirclements of Konotop and Sumy, though Konotop was once again surrounded. Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv continue to thwart attempts at encirclement, though Russian forces have expanded their control of the territory between Sumy and Kharkiv.
In the east, Russian forces have gradually expanded control of the oblasts [provinces] of Luhansk and Donetsk, though the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist militias appear to have been of little assistance in this area, other than holding the territory they already occupy and holding the attention of Ukrainian government forces opposite them.
In the south, Russian forces advancing out of Crimea have made the most steady progress. Russian forces are nowoutside of, or have entered, Mykolaiv, a port which well-known for its naval-building shipyards. Russian units are in the process of securing the southern bank of the Dnepr River, between Nova Kakhovka and Zaporizhzhia, which forms a water course that is 8-10 miles wide in places. Russian spearheads have advanced eastwards toward the towns of Orikhiv and Poholy, as well as along the coast toward Berdyansk. A Ukrainian-controlled salient separates these two efforts. Russian-controlled Melitopol is located at the western end of this salient. Russian forces in Berdyansk will likely link up with those advancing west from Mariupol, in the coming days, while those from Poholy will continue towards Donetsk; the junction of forces in this area north of the Sea of Azov will allow the Russian military to consolidate its forces in the south and regroup for the next effort.
Russian forces have paused in the south, where they gained significant territory, after advancing from the Crimean Peninsula. Russian forces may be regrouping, before they march further.
During 25 February, Russian forces were reported to have encircled Konotop and Sumy, but Ukrainian forces appear to have partially broken the encirclements.
In the east, near the oblast of Luhansk, Russian forces have advanced about 15 miles further west, while it appears that Russian and Russian-backed forces of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic were forced to retreat from several villages they had captured near the border.
Russian forces still threaten Chernihiv, but were apparently forced to withdraw from border regions they had conquered on the east bank of the Dnieper River, which forces were supposed to support the advance to Kyiv. Significantly, fighting has been reported within Kyiv, as Russian vanguards entered the capital.
To better see Russian gains and reversals, compare the map below, showing the situation from the start of 25 February, with the map above.
THE GATEWAY PUNDIT: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Thursday that she will allow the “public health disaster emergency proclamation” to expire on February 15, 2022. The emergency proclamation was first issued on March 17, 2020, to authorize health mitigation measures during the early state of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s two websites that track COVID-19 data will now be decommissioned on February 16, 2022. Covid-19 will be dealt with like other serious illnesses, such as the flu.