The Blackwater Daily Brief is a valuable asset for those watching the events unfold in Europe. Here’s what the company highlighted in the latest brief:
- By most accounts, Russia’s offensive continues to falter in Ukraine, and it no longer seems inevitable that Russia will capture Kyiv within weeks. Analysts are now talking about a “grinding war” in which both sides gradually lose troops, equipment, and supplies.
- Ukrainian forces reportedly recaptured the city of Makariv, which is about 30 miles (50 km) from Kyiv.
- Ukraine’s defense ministry estimates that Russian forces currently have only enough food and ammo for three more days of fighting due to broken supply chains. Western analysts don’t have sufficient information to corroborate that estimate, but say it’s “plausible” that Russian troops are on the verge of a disastrous shortage.
- Pres. Biden said there are “clear signs” that an increasingly desperate Russian military is planning a “false flag” attack in Ukraine to justify the use of chemical or biological weapons. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’ll be an imminent attack: this revelation is probably part of the U.S. strategy to preemptively divulge intelligence about Russian plans to dispel misinformation as they eventually unfold.
- The NYT had an excellent article (pasted below) on the scrappy Ukrainian Air Force’s effective defenses against a much better equipped Russian enemy: “Ukraine has been effective in the sky because we operate on our own land.” Ukraine is still asking for more planes to supplement its fleet and replace damaged aircraft.
- The U.S. isn’t sending Ukraine aircraft yet, but it is sending several pieces of Soviet-built S-300, SA-10, and SA-8 air defense equipment that are familiar to Ukrainian operators.
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