War Update #22 – Russian Advances Slowed or Forced to Retreat

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The Russian military offensive in Ukraine has for the most part stalled in the past week. That is very apparent, especially around Kyiv. A Russian tank column was forced back.

Russian military however have shown signs that they may launch major bombardments of civilian areas.

This is a common and very brutal tactic that the Russians have used in the past to gain victories in Chechnya and Syria.

Sergey Lavrov made these statements following the talks toward a cease-fire:

  • Russia did not attack Ukraine and it doesn’t plan to attack any other countries, either.
  • Ukraine was planning to launch imminent military offensives against the self-declared separatist republics in the Donbas.
  • The maternity ward bombed in Mariupol was being used as a military base by soldiers in the Azov Battalion.
  • Russia will manage its economic problems on its own.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is desperately trying to mobilize Russian people behind his war. This while the Putin regime is trying to end the growing anti-war demonstrations happening across Russia.

Putin is introducing new draconian polices as part of growing moves to stop civil unrest over his war.

Russian people who have been told at first that there was no war going on with Ukraine are now starting to see the impact on their lives of the economic sanctions. This in itself is hard for the Russian government to explain.

Putin is also seeking to pressure NATO countries over their efforts in sending aid, including military supplies to Ukraine. Putin has threatened military action if NATO declares a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

United States Denounces Claims of Biological Weapons

The United States is not assisting Ukraine with biological weapons in its war with Russia and there are no indications that biological weapons are being used by Ukraine, said a Defense Department official. 

Two senior defense officials held an on-background press briefing at the Pentagon today. 

There are five biological research laboratories in Kyiv. Their work focuses on diagnostics, therapeutics, treatments, prevention and vaccines, not on military use as the Russians and Chinese accuse, the official said.  

“There are no DOD bio-weapon labs in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world,” the official said. 

The Biological Weapons Convention effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons.  

It was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, Ukraine and Russia signed onto it in 1972 and all three ratified it in 1975.  

Situation on the Ground in Ukraine

The Russians have moved about five kilometers closer to Kyiv since yesterday and are now about 40 kilometers east of the city, the official said. 

There are multiple lines of advancements toward Kyiv, with the assessed intent of encircling the Ukrainian capital. However, their progress to do so hasn’t been effective, the official said. 

Security assistance continues to flow into Ukraine from the U.S. and NATO allies, the official said.  

“The Ukrainians are putting up a very stiff resistance,” the official said. 

The Ukrainians still have most of their fixed wing fighter aircraft available to them, the official said. 

The Ukrainians are very effectively using surface-to-air missile systems and anti-armor munitions to slow the Russian advance, particularly in the north, the official said. 

Meta Changes Policy on Facebook

Meta has temporarily changed its terms of service to allow posts calling for violence against Russian soldiers in some cases. According to a company spokesperson, phrases like “Death to the Russian invaders,” which would ordinarily constitute hate speech and incitement, will be permitted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.