Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
January 27, 2023
It is difficult for the general public in the west to understand the reality of the war in Ukraine. News reports from front line are heavily filtered in favor of Ukraine. There are few published reports from Moscow.
But the news in the past few days does not seem to bode well for Ukraine:
- Ukraine military may suffer significant setbacks on the ground while Russian troops are advancing.
- Russian air strikes against Ukraine energy infrastructure may have caused significant damages.
- The US and allies swiftly changed the position and pledged to deliver battlefield tanks to Ukraine this week. But the actual delivery may take a few months at least. It means that first of all Ukraine military has to defend her homeland with whatever she has now, and it may not be sufficient.
- The near complete destruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in this winter, including the capital Kiev, may cause irreversible damages.
- Russia and Ukraine are planning for a major spring offense which is about two months away. There is no sign of any peace movement. Both are bogged down by the war so any “spring offense” may not be decisive so the war will continue.
Russia pounds Kyiv with “deadly” missiles
Thu, January 26, 2023 at 12:04 PM PST
A morning rush hour assault killed at least one person in Kyiv, and left critical infrastructure damaged in the Black Sea region of Odesa, according to officials.
A spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said a total of 11 people had been killed during the Russian strikes throughout the course of the day.
Back in the capital, people sought cover in the metro station during a nationwide air alert.
Explosions could be heard overhead.
The missile strikes followed a drone attack overnight – and came a day after Ukraine secured pledges of modern battle tanks from Germany and the United States to beef up its troops.
It’s a move that has infuriated Russian officials. Moscow has in the past responded to apparent Ukrainian successes with massed air strikes.
An air force spokesperson said as many six warplanes had taken off from an Arctic region in northern Russia and launched long-range missiles.
Minutes later, loud explosions rocked two districts of Kyiv.
Impacts were also reported elsewhere in the Kyiv region, damaging infrastructure and homes.
The latest attack on the city is one of more than a dozen air strikes Russia has unleashed on the power grid since October, which have caused sweeping outages during winter.
Ukraine’s largest private energy producer, DTEK, said it was conducting emergency power shutdowns because of the danger of missile attacks.
Other power producers said they were following suit.
- Ukraine said Moscow fired 70 missiles — including two hypersonic missiles — aimed at energy facilities Thursday, killing at least 11 people across the country. Ukraine’s state energy operator warned Friday the strikes caused “substantial damage” to the power grid.
- Russian forces continued to shell towns in the east on Friday, according to the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko. The town of Chasiv Yar, to the west of Bakhmut, had been shelled for over an hour and a half on Friday morning, leaving two people dead and five wounded, and damaging “around ten houses.”
- Eastern attacks: Ukraine’s eastern front line is under heavily shelling, with the town of Vuhledar facing “permanent” assault, Kyrylenko said on Telegram Friday morning. Two people died over the past 24 hours in what Kyrylenko described as the “permanent shelling of Vuhledar.” He also reported two instances of “massive artillery shelling of Avdiivka overnight.”
- Thursday’s missile attack: Two of the 70 missiles fired by Russia toward Ukraine on Thursday were Kinzhal-type hypersonic missiles, the Ukrainian Air Force said, calling on the West to provide them with advance air defense systems that are capable of shooting these down.
- As for the US, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told CNN Friday the newly announced tranche of Abrams tanks announced by the US as part of this week’s aid to Ukraine “will take many months before they can get on the ground.”
- And in Germany, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has ruled out Germany sending fighter jets to Ukraine, according to an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.
Ukraine war: Fighting heats up in east and north after tank pledges
By Vladyslav and Smilianets
- Ukraine says it needs more weapons, calls for sanctions
- Western allies agreed this week to provide tanks
- Russia says U.S. president holds key to ending fighting
NEAR VUHLEDAR, Ukraine, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Ukraine on Friday battled Russian troops trying to pierce its lines in the east and northeast, and artillery bombardments intensified after Western allies promised the Kyiv government it would send them tanks to repel the invaders.
Ukraine war latest: Russia claims breakthrough toward Vuhledar, Ukraine says Moscow ‘exaggerating.’
Fri, January 27, 2023 at 1:38 PM PST·6 min read
Key developments on Jan. 27:
Kremlin proxies in Donetsk Oblast claimed on Jan. 27 that Russian forces were inching toward capturing the eastern town of Vuhledar, but Ukraine immediately refuted, saying that Moscow was “exaggerating” its progress in the area.