Emerging - Internet Buzzing With Rumors Ukraine May Score Victory Against Russia Near Kyiv

AP Photo/Andrew Marienko

It’s a slow news day about Ukraine. The US and the world wait for Poland to make a controversial peacekeeping proposal to NATO at the upcoming summit in Brussels on March 24th. The mainstream media focuses on the Ukrainian humanitarian situation in Mariupol, where the Russian army is now engaging in street fighting inside the city.

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The telegram chat book “Ukrainian freedom news” shows a clip of the fighting.

Entry in Telegram chat feed “Ukrainian Freedom News” purportedly showing video of Russian tanks being engaged by Ukraine in urban Mariupol. (Credit: Telegram, Ukrainian Freedom News)

But the internet buzz emerging today is near the capital city of Kyiv, where Ukrainian forces look to have been on the move since around March 19 against the Russian Army. With up to 99 percent of information surrounding this war being propaganda by both sides, you must take anything about Ukraine with a grain of salt. But this Tweet on March 22 by a Ukraine sympathizer in Berlin says that the Ukrainian forces may be in the process of cutting off a major Russian formation.

“According to unconfirmed but realistic looking reports, Russian troops have got surrounded in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel area near Kyiv, cut from supplies. If true – the biggest defeat of a Russian army until now, and Ukraine needs to start worrying about too many POWs”

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Irpin is the suburb of Kyiv where the infamous bridge crossing of refugees from the two armies hammering each other has been in the news. It is the location where journalists Pierre Zakrzewski, Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, and Benjamin Hall were attacked.

Another tweet shows what purports to be the positions of Ukrainian and Russian units as of March 19.  The pattern of the positions is consistent with an envelopment that, if true, has a plausible outcome of an embarrassing field defeat for the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

Further to the west also in the Kyiv oblast, CNN is tentatively reporting a victory claimed by Ukrainian forces that they have retaken control of the suburb of Makariv. This news item by CNN is also labeled as unconfirmed but had sufficient merit for the outlet to publish it. Victories along the E40 roadway, which leads to the Irpin and Bucha suburbs, that has been prominently in the news about the war add plausibility that Ukrainian forces may have outflanked their Russian adversaries.

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CNN reports that Ukraine claims ground victory against Russian forces in the Makariv, a western suburb of the capital of Kyiv (Credit: CNN)

A battlefield victory by Ukrainian forces as the Russian Army continues to suffer from command and control and logistics issues could alter the calculus of Moscow with regards to the war, now on its 27th day. Russia clearly did not mean for this war to last this long. Nor did the Kremlin think it would be so difficult to win. But the casualty count is now a statistically significant portion of the 130,000+  force with which Russia launched the invasion. Reports are in the 9,000+ range of dead and the 16,000+ range of wounded according to Ukrainian figures contrasting with an official 498 dead count being told to Russians in the Kremlin-controlled state media.  A field loss where Russian units are taken prisoner en masse would be very hard to hide from the Russian people.

Vladimir Putin has not yet shown an inclination to hold serious talks at the bargaining table even though Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already offered Ukraine’s neutrality to be a non-aligned European state that is not a member of NATO, effectively satisfying Mr. Putin’s most important desire to have a buffer state between his country and the NATO alliance.

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But if Ukraine is indeed beginning to win the ground game against the Russians, the Russian position at the bargaining table may begin to erode, particularly if the prowess of Ukraine’s superior command and control, logistics, and tenacity continue to be resupplied by friendly nations such as the US, European Union, and an increasingly bold NATO alliance.

There are two days until the NATO summit in Brussels.  A lot could still change between now and then. They’ll have a lot to talk about.

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