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South Front

South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 9:46 pm

1. Military Overview: Russian Forces Start Storming Last Line Of Ukrainian Defense West Of Avdeevka


Military Overview: Russian Forces Start Storming Last Line Of Ukrainian Defense West Of Avdeevka

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After their victory in Avdeevka, Russian forces destroyed the first line of Ukrainian defense in the villages of Petrovskoe (Stepovoe) – Lastochkino – Severnoe and continue their advance to the west. As a result of their offensive, Russian forces are already storming the second line of Ukrainian defense in the villages of Berdychi-Semenovka-Orlovka-Tonenkoe.

To the north-west of Avdeevka, Russian forces recently took control of Petrovskoe. The village is located in the lowlands. That's why the Russian military does not accumulate a large forces there to launch the further assault on Berdychi. At the moment, Russian artillery and aircraft are pounding the villages of Berdychi and Semenovka, where the AFU attempt to strengthen their defense.

The first Abrams tank came under Russian fire near Berdychi:

 

 

On February 26, the Russian Ministry of Defense officially confirmed the full Russian control of the village of Lastochkino. The Ukrainian military also confirmed the retreat from the settlement, despite the cheerful claims of the Ukrainian military officials a day before. Ukrainian defeat in Lastochino was no longer possible to hide. LINK

After the Russian military completed the mop up operation in Lastochkino, they launched assault on the main Ukrainian stronghold of the AFU west of Avdeevka – the village of Orlovka. Both Russian and Ukrainian sources confirm clashes near the lakes on the eastern outskirts of the village. Amid the devastating airstrikes and artillery fire, Russian assault groups advanced along the highway and broke through Ukrainian defense near the village. The battles are ongoing along Brativ Paukova street.

 

 

At the same time, Russian forces launched attacks from the south-western outskirts of Lastochkino towards Tonenkoe and expanded the zone of their control in the fields. After Russian forces took control of Severnoe, they also managed to expand the zone of their control in the fields south of Tonenkoe, as well as launch their assault on the village from the east. As a result of the fast Russian advance, the village of Tonenkoe may soon be encircled from three directions. Clashes are already reported on its southern and eastern outskirts.

Ukrainian tank destroyed near Tonenkoe:

 

 

The second line of Ukrainian defense is the much better fortified and is more difficult to break through, but the pace of Russian advance in the region may mark the unreadiness of the Ukrainian military to fiercely fight for the villages, especially after their morale was destroyed by the defeat in Avdeevka. After the loss of Avdeevka, the Ukrainian army is still failing to align the frontline. The 'planned withdrawal' from the city leads to the same bloody retreat from other settlements in the region. This second line of Ukrainian defense may become the last one, since there are no further heavily fortified defensive lines in the field areas to the west.

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South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 8:52 pm

2. Military Situation In Gaza Strip On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)


Military Situation In Gaza Strip On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)

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  • More than 29,782 Palestinians were killed and more than 70,043 others were wounded as a result of Israeli airstrikes, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health;
  • The Israeli army announced deaths of three of its servicemen in the Gaza Strip;
  • On February 26, clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces continue on the western outskirts of Khan Yunis;
  • On February 26, clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces continue in the Zaytoun area;
  • On February 26, Israeli artillery shelled the Rafah City;
  • On February 26, Israeli artillery shelled the Nuseirat camp;
  • On February 26, Israeli artillery shelled the Shojaiya district;
  • On February 26, Israeli artillery shelled al-Bureij camp.

The post Military Situation In Gaza Strip On February 26, 2024 (Map Update) appeared first on South Front.

South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 8:43 pm

3. Pentagon Investigating Cases Of Corruption In Ukraine


Pentagon Investigating Cases Of Corruption In Ukraine

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Written by Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant

US aid policy to Ukraine is proving increasingly useless – not only because it is unable to change the battlefield, but also because it is often used for illegal purposes by corrupt Ukrainians. Recently, Pentagon revealed that it had opened more than 50 investigation cases about corruption in Ukraine, with American military aid packages being allegedly stolen and diverted by criminals. The situation is yet another example of the disastrous consequences of arming the most corrupt country in Europe.

Defense Department inspector general Robert Storch announced that he is investigating dozens of incidents of "theft, fraud or corruption and diversion" of American military resources in Ukraine. It is alleged that weapons sent by the US began to be diverted by corrupt people to the black market as soon as Western assistance began arriving in Kiev. Storch has not yet made formal accusations, waiting for the final result of the investigation to be published, but the evidence suggests that some dishonest Ukrainian officials are actively involved in the diversion of military resources.

In most cases, materials are diverted at the border with Poland – the country through which most NATO aid reaches Ukrainian territory. As soon as they cross the border to the Ukrainian side, several weapons simply "disappear", without any control by the local authorities. This "disappearance" has become frequent over the two years since the start of Russia's special military operation, generating billions in losses for the US and other countries financing Kiev's war machine.

This is not the first time that reports have emerged exposing arms stealing in Ukraine. However, the US has so far avoided publicly accusing Ukrainian criminals. The more these cases of diversion become public, the greater the collective outrage will be and, consequently, there will be pressure for American military aid to be completely interrupted. Therefore, Washington has as much as possible tried to avoid making corruption cases known.

However, the frequency of Ukrainian crimes has made it impossible for the US government to remain silent on the issue. Circumstances become particularly more delicate considering that the possibilities for western assistance have rapidly diminished. NATO weapons stocks are running out and the productive capacity of the American military-industrial complex is severely threatened. So, there is no longer any way for Washington to simply "ignore" the diversion of weapons as a kind of "side effect" of arming Ukraine. If weapons continue to be stolen, American military stocks will run out faster and there will be nothing left to send to Kiev.

Furthermore, it is necessary to take into account that the US currently has military plans beyond Ukraine. With the escalation of the crisis in the Middle East and the subservience of the American political elite to the Zionist lobby, there is great pressure for Washington to have ever greater military engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this sense, the US is currently interested in reducing support for Ukraine, which is already a lost war, and investing in its Middle Eastern ally. The reporting of corruption crimes in Ukraine helps Washington with this objective, as it provides a justification for decreasing pro-Ukrainian aid assistance.

It would however be naive to believe that American officials are "discovering" Ukrainian corruption now. The investigations are beginning simply because circumstances force Washington to do so, but in practice the crimes have been well known for a long time. The crime of corruption is commonly practiced in Ukraine, which is a country controlled by oligarchies that pursue their selfish interests to the detriment of national objectives.

Before Russia launched its special operation, Ukraine was recognized by the Western media as the most corrupt country in Europe. Corruption scandals have been commonplace in Ukraine for decades, even more particularly since 2014, when local oligarchies began cooperating with Western elites in many illicit international schemes. After Russia began its military activities, however, the Western media decided to start omitting Ukrainian crimes and describing Kiev as an example of a "democratic" state, ignoring the oligarchic and fraudulent aspect of the regime.

Obviously, sending massive quantities of weapons to a country with such characteristics would not be a good idea. The same corrupt Ukrainians who stole public resources in the past then began to divert Western weapons and resell them on the global black market. Not by chance, there have been reports about Western weapons sent to Ukraine ending up in the hands of terrorists around the world, mainly in African countries. In practice, the policy of arming Kiev proved to be a disaster, as it was not efficient in bringing military benefits to the Ukrainian regime and at the same time served as a means of illicit enrichment for corrupt people and cheap arming for terrorists.

It remains to be seen whether the Pentagon's investigations will actually be conducted properly and whether the results will be sufficient for Washington to review its policy of supporting the neo-Nazi regime.

You can follow Lucas on Twitter and Telegram.

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South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 8:28 pm

4. Hungary Welcomed Sweden In NATO


Hungary Welcomed Sweden In NATO

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On February 26, the Hungarian Parliament approved Sweden's application to join NATO. 188 Hungarian deputies voted for the entry of "neutral" Sweden into NATO. Only 6 deputies of the Hungarian Parliament found the courage to vote against it.

Hungary became the last member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to ratify the Swedish application. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed that "Sweden's accession to NATO will strengthen Hungary's security."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg congratulated Stockholm on becoming the 32nd member of NATO.

Finland and Sweden jointly applied to join NATO in May 2022. Helsinki officially joined the alliance on April 4, 2023, but Ankara and Budapest blocked Stockholm's application for a long time due to disagreements. Nevertheless, in January 2024, Turkey approved Sweden's accession to the Alliance. Hungary was the last country to ratify Stockholm's application. Budapest noted that the governments of the Scandinavian countries "have repeatedly sought to strike at Hungary," putting pressure on the government and supporting the opposition.

Initially, the Hungarian parliament planned to vote on Sweden's membership in the Alliance on February 5; but the deputies of the FIDESZ party boycotted the vote. The leader of the party called for the vote only after the visit of the Swedish prime Minister to Budapest.

As a result of the accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Alliance, Russia's land border with the bloc will increase from 1,215 to 2,600 kilometers. At the same time, the United States were seeking to take control of Scandinavia in order to strengthen the US position in the Arctic.

It was only a matter of time before new countries joined the Alliance. The great 'victory' is nothing but a legal formality. For many years, Sweden supported the anti-Russian operations of NATO, formally declaring its neutrality. Stockholm provided its territory for American intelligence complexes and took part in military exercises with NATO colleagues.

In their turn, Hungary and Turkey used the rush of their NATO colleagues to get some preferences. For example, Turkey gained the permission from Washington to buy new F-16s. LINK

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South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 8:11 pm

5. Pounding Ukrainian Rear, Russian Army Advances On All Frontlines


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Pounding Ukrainian Rear, Russian Army Advances On All Frontlines

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The third year of the full-scale war in Ukraine has begun. The Russian military continues offensive operations in all directions on the frontlines, destroying Ukrainian military infrastructure in rear areas, while the Ukrainian army went on the defensive, losing international support in the process.

On the night of February 26, another massive Russian combined attack struck Ukrainian military facilities throughout the country. Russian strikes targeted points of accommodation of Ukrainian military personnel and military-industrial facilities in the Sumy and Poltava regions. Local authorities confirmed numerous strikes in the city of Kharkiv. In Dnipro the targets reportedly included the machine-building plant and the local airfield. The Kanatovo airfield in the Kirovograd region also came under another attack. Closer to the frontlines, a new wave of explosions thundered in Chuguev and Pokrovks and Kupyansk.

Russian precision strikes continue on a daily basis, which makes it possible to destroy Ukrainian reserves and deter the maneuvers of the Ukrainian military on the battlefields.

As a result, the Russian advance on the front does not stop. To the west of Artyomovsk, Russian forces launched an assault on Ivanovskoe. Clashes are already reportedly ongoing in the central part of the village. The Ukrainian military was forced to retreat to the western outskirts of the settlement. At the same time, Russian forces expanded their zone of control in the forest area on the outskirts of Chasov Yar, threatening the Ukrainian garrison with an upcoming assault of their large stronghold there.

After their victory in Avdeevka, Russian forces are finishing the mop up operation in the city without stopping their advance in the region, pushing the Ukrainian army to the west. The Russian military is securing their positions in the recently captured villages of Stepovoe, Lastochkino and Severnoe, where the remaining Ukrainian forces continue attempts to counterattack on the outskirts. According to preliminary reports by both Russian and Ukrainian military sources, Russian assault groups have reached the village of Tonenkoe, where clashes are already ongoing on the eastern streets.

This village is located on the main line of the Ukrainian defense which is in the chain of settlements west of Avdeevka. In the case of a Russian breakthrough there, the Russian troops will face almost no obstacles to advance about 10 kilometers to the west and take control of large territories of the Donetsk People's Republic.

At the same time, the Russian military is taking back positions it lost during the failed Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian forces gained a foothold on the southern outskirts of Rabotino and continue attacks in the center of the village, where there are at least some large buildings to hide in during the operations in the ruins. The Ukrainian stronghold was withdrawn to the cemetery north of the village, from where they attempt counterattacks.

The post Pounding Ukrainian Rear, Russian Army Advances On All Frontlines appeared first on South Front.

South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 7:29 pm

6. Armenia Pivoting To West And Distancing From Eurasia, Enhancing Military Ties With France


Armenia Pivoting To West And Distancing From Eurasia, Enhancing Military Ties With France

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Written by Uriel Araujo, researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has announced his country is "freezing" cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which may be a step towards leaving the Eurasian bloc altogether. According to Igor Korotchenko, director general of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies, this development is a direct result of recent agreements between the Caucasus nation and France, after Pashinyan discussed the matter earlier this month with French President Emmanuel Macron. Paris and Yerevan signed a weapons contract amid a general boost in their military and defense ties, with France having agreed to sell the Thales GM 200 (an advanced air defense system) to Armenia.

France's agenda does not always align with that of the US-led NATO, as we can see in the Indo-Pacific itself, for example. Paris has of course its own traditional aspirations in the South Caucasus, pertaining to its competition with Britain (the so-called "Fashoda Syndrome"), and also its complex relationship with Turkey, as Paris has long sought to contain Turkish ambitions in the East Mediterranean and beyond. Be it as it may, the French clearly aspires to "replace" Russia's position in Armenia and the European power is now promising to provide Armenians with short-range surface-to-air missiles, among other things.

Besides that, since 2022, Armenia has also signed various defense contracts worth $400 million with India, and the Caucasus nation also made a deal to buy PINAKA multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL), and anti-tank munitions from India. This has led some observers to talk about an emerging Euro-Asian strategic alliance, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific strategy. I have written elsewhere about the paradoxes of India's "balancing" role between the West and Eurasia, both in the Pacific and in Central Asia – with India, member of both the Quad and the SCO, pushing for the former to engage in Afghanistan.

In any case, the complexities of France's agenda apart, the overall Armenian pivoting to the West (through Paris in this case) fits into the larger context of NATO and Western "expansion" and the "encircling" of Russia. As POLITICO described it, France has just "planted its flag" in "Russia's backyard" with the Armenian weapons' deals. However, Pashinyan has also said there is no intention to shut a Russia military base in his country, at Gyumri.

For Korotchenko, the Armenian authorities in Yerevan  are gradually pivoting to NATO and Western structures, and "the only thing" keeping the country from "a final break" with the CSTO and Moscow is the economy, for "Armenia enjoys a number of serious preferences from Russia, and also enjoys all the advantages of membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, a regional economic bloc." Some Western analysts are in fact talking about Armenia joining the EU and NATO, which thus far remains pure wishful thinking also due to the economic factor mentioned by Korotchenko. According to Robert M. Cutler (a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of European, Russian & Eurasian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa), the bilateral agreement regarding the Russian troops in Armenia runs until 2044, and this certainly hampers wider French or NATO ambitions in terms of "Westernizing" that Caucasus nation.

The CSTO, a Russia-led intergovernmental military alliance, consists of Russia and five other post-soviet states, namely, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Armenia. Albeit formally formed in 2002, the Treaty's roots can be traced back to the short-lived United Armed Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States (1992-1993), which in turn were preceded by the Soviet Armed forces. The Tashkent Treaty was signed in 1993 to create the  Collective Security Treaty (CST), taking effect in 1994, and lasting a 5-year period. Its goal was to become a legal framework for guaranteeing military security throughout the post-Soviet area, specifically in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In 1999, the Treaty was renewed for five more years – then, in the context of military conflicts with Islamic fundamentalists in Kyrgyzstan, CST signatories agreed on joint military action, and such a development paved the way for the CST to finally become the CSTO in 2002.

Soviet collapse, ideological aspects apart, has in a way left a geopolitical and power vacuum in Eurasia, with security concerns pertaining to Central Asian ethno-political destabilization while US-led NATO in turn never ceased to expand. In this context, regional players and Moscow particularly have been seeking to promote mechanisms towards regional integration and collective security.

Russia has thus been pursuing to strengthen the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) alongside the CSTO itself and the BRICS group. The EEU has been focusing on Eurasian development and economic integration, whereas the CSTO, for its part, has been mostly tasked with security issues pertaining to member states' territorial sovereignty. From an American perspective, such groupings threaten US unipolar hegemony and are thus met with hostility.

The challenge for countries such as Armenia involves precisely "balancing" their bilateral relations with both  their Eurasian partners and with an increasingly "cold war mentality"-driven West. As I wrote a year ago, Eurasian countries have been increasing trade with Russia in the aftermath of the Western sanctions against Moscow (which have largely backfired), with exports to Russia surging in Armenia. Such trade trends provided new opportunities for countries such as Armenia itself, a nation which has long envisioned itself as a potential bridge between the Eurasian Union and the European Union (EU).

In October 2023 I wrote on how the Western presence in Armenia was expanding – in spite of its failure. The ongoing and unchallenged Turkey-backed ethnic cleansing campaign in Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh), conducted by Azerbaijan (also with the support if Israel) is an eloquent sign of the failure of Yerevan's turn to the West. Much of the world is in fact increasingly alienated by Western "alignmentism" and its new Cold War mentality. Any Armenian "Western shift" will run contrary to the current trends of non-alignment, multi-alignment, and "strategic autonomy" that even France and Germany themselves have been proposing. "Decoupling" from Russia (and Eurasia) would be detrimental to Armenia's own interests – but that is precisely what the West will most likely demand from it.

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South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 7:09 pm

7. Military Situation On Ukrainian Frontlines On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)


Military Situation On Ukrainian Frontlines On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)

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  • Three Ukrainian UAVs were destroyed in the Belgorod region;
  • Russian Iskander destroyed the NASAMS launcher near the village of Malyshevka in the Zaporozhye region;
  • Russian forces destroyed the first US Abrams tank in Berdychi;
  • Russian strikes were reported in the Sumy region;
  • Russian strikes were reported in the Poltava region;
  • The local authorities confirmed several Russian strikes in Kharkiv;
  • Russian strikes reportedly damaged the machine-building plant and the airfield in Dnipro;
  • Russian strikes damaged Kanatovo airfield in the Kirovograd region;
  • Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian military in Chuguev;
  • Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian military in Pokrovsk;
  • Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian military in Kupyansk;
  • Three civilians were wounded by Ukrainian fire in Donetsk over the past day;
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense officially confirmed the full Russian control of Lastochkino;
  • The AFU deployed special forces of the Kraken neo-nazi unit of the Main Inteligence Directorate to the Kherson region;
  • Clashes continue in the center of Rabotino;
  • Russian heavy bombs are destroying Ukrainian positions in Orekhov;
  • Clashes continue in Novomikhailovka;
  • Russian forces repelled attacks of the 32nd Mechanised and 57th Motorised Infantry Brigades near Sinkovka;
  • Russian forces repelled attacks of the 60th Mechanised Brigade near Terny;
  • Russian forces continue assault in Avanovskoe;
  • Russian forces reached the outskirts of Tonenkoe
  • On February 25, Russian air defense forces destroyed two Storm Shadow missiles in the Black Sea;
  • Russian forces eliminated 145 servicemen, one tank, three motor vehicles, one M777, two Gvozdika artillery systems in the Kupyansk area;
  • Russian forces eliminated 420 servicemen, two armoured personnel carriers, four motor vehicles, one U.S.-made M777 artillery system in the Donetsk area;
  • Russian forces eliminated 410 servicemen, one tank, three infantry vehicles, four armoured vehicles, 20 motor vehicles, one D-30 howitzer in the Avdiivka area;
  • Russian forces eliminated 150 servicemen, three armoured fighting vehicles, four motor vehicles in the Southern Donetsk area;
  • Russian forces eliminated 50 servicemen, one tank, two armoured vehicles, nine motor vehicles, one D-20 howitzer, one Grad MLRS vehicle in Kherson region;
  • Russian air defense systems shot down 62 Ukrainian drones over the past day;
  • Russian air defense systems shot down five HIMARS projectiles over the past day.

 

Military Situation On Ukrainian Frontlines On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)

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  • The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the full Russian control of Lastochkino;
  • Russian forces took control of the village of Severnoe;
  • Russian forces reached the southern and eastern outskirts of Tonenke;
  • Russian forces took control of farmlands north of Lastochkyne;
  • Russian forces advanced along the road west of Lastochkino and gained a foothold on the eastern outskirts of Orlovka;
  • Russian forces destroyed the first Abrams tank near Berdychi;
  • Russian forces eliminated 410 servicemen, one tank, three infantry vehicles, four armoured vehicles, 20 motor vehicles, one D-30 howitzer in the Avdeevka area.

 

Military Situation On Ukrainian Frontlines On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)

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  • Russian forces gained a foothold in the center of Ivanivske;
  • Clashes continue in Bogdanivka;
  • Russian forces continue attacks near Kurdyumovka;
  • Clashes continue near Andriivka;
  • Russian forces advanced about 700 meters on a wide front of about 1.2 kilometers in the forest area east of Chasov Yar
    – Up to 420 servicemen, two armoured personnel carriers, four motor vehicles, one U.S.-made M777 artillery system the past day.

The post Military Situation On Ukrainian Frontlines On February 26, 2024 (Map Update) appeared first on South Front.

South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 7:02 pm

8. In Video 18+: Russian Special Forces Showed Their Operations In Ukrainian Rear Areas


In Video 18+: Russian Special Forces Showed Their Operations In Ukrainian Rear Areas

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The newly shared footage shows the operations of the Russian Special Forces in the Ukrainian rear areas. The operations included the elimination of the Ukrainian military vehicles, ambushes on the roads used by Ukrainian servicemen and destruction of the groups of Ukrainian saboteurs in the border areas.

Videos of some of these operations were previously shared by some Russian military sources, the others were published for the first time and included footage from the cameras of destroyed Ukrainian servicemen. LINK

 

 

 

The video starts with the successful ambush of the Russian Special Forces on the group of Ukrainian saboteurs, who attempted to cross the border in the forest areas but were destroyed.

The footage shows several Russian ambushes on the Ukrainian military personnel on the Ukrainian territory. The attacks were launched at the close distance, while civilian cars (and even a horse and cart) are seen passing through the saboteurs untouched. The videos once again confirm that the Russian Special Forces are acting professionally and only destroy military targets, causing no damage to civilians.

One of the videos showed that one of Ukrainian servicemen who survived the Russian attack attempted to hide in the hidden point of deployment of Ukrainian servicemen. The  survivor was followed by the Russian reconnaissance UAV, which operated without any obstacles over the Ukrainian territory. As a result, the hideout of Ukrainian servicemen was destroyed.

The next part shows the videos filmed by Ukrainian servicemen in the rear areas, threatening Russian civilians in the Bryansk region with the upcoming attacks. The video was found on the mobile phone captured by Russian forces after its owner was destroyed. Ukrainian soldiers are seen preparing their Gvozdika artillery systems for the shelling of the Russian border villages. As a result, the Ukrainian crew was destroyed by a precision strike of Russian UAV.

The following videos showed the destruction of the vehicle belonging to the Shershen (Hornet) aerial reconnaissance unit of the 101st Separate Brigade of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense. This unit was responsible for the constant drone strikes in the Russian Belgorod region. As a result of the attack, four members of this unit were destroyed and identified.

The video ends with the capture of Ukrainian servicemen in the border areas. The Russian Special Forces saved the lives of the enemy and provided them with all the necessary medical assistance. At the end, one of the Ukrainian groups of the Ukrainian 4th border outpost thanked the Russian military:

'We are border guards of the 4th border outpost. Our command abandoned us. We were assured that the reconnaissance forces had checked the territory, and that everything was fine, and they forced us to move forward for the operation. As a result, we are in captivity. Thanks to the Russian guys who took pity on us and didn't kill us.

Ukrainian guys, drop your weapons and surrender. It's not worth it."

The footage shared by the Russian Special Operations Forces showed their operations launched months ago; while most of their activities in the Ukrainian rear areas remain undisclosed. In its turn, the Ukrainian military does not stop complaining about Russia's constant attacks on Ukrainian forces in the border regions. According to the Ukrainian military officials, Russian attacks may take place several times a week.

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South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 6:06 pm

9. Military Situation In Yemen On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)


Military Situation In Yemen On February 26, 2024 (Map Update)

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  • On February 26, US warplanes launched five airstrikes in the Ras Issa area;
  • US airstrikes in the Muqbanah area killed a civilian and wounded 6 others;
  • On February 24, the frigate F221 Hessen of the German Navy entered the Red Sea through the Suez Canal;
  • On February 25, Ansar Allah launched missile strike at the US tanker Torm Thor in the Golf of Aden. According to the CENTCOM, the anti-ship missile fell into the water causing no damage;
  • On February 25, the US military shot down two attack drones over the southern part of the Red Sea, the third fell into the water due to a technical malfunction.

The post Military Situation In Yemen On February 26, 2024 (Map Update) appeared first on South Front.

South Front
26 Feb 2024 | 5:46 pm

10. Two Years Into Russia’s SMO, Political West More Isolated Than Ever, Pushing For Global Destabilization


 

Two Years Into Russia's SMO, Political West More Isolated Than Ever, Pushing For Global Destabilization

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Written by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst

Two years ago, Russia finally decided it had had enough and on February 24, 2022, launched its counteroffensive against decades of NATO aggression in Europe. The special military operation (SMO) ushered in a tectonic shift in the geopolitical arena, with Washington DC and Brussels finally showing their true colors. Apart from the full-blown economic siege of Russia, which includes the illegal seizure of its massive forex reserves, the political West also launched a crawling war with Moscow by providing ever more advanced weapons to its Neo-Nazi puppets in Kiev. The Russian military initially used BTGs (battalion tactical groups) to take direct control over a massive area in mere days, helping shape the battlefield to Moscow's liking and setting the stage for the SMO's most important aspect – demilitarization.

This process would've been over in just two to three weeks, formalized in a peace deal that would've ended the Kiev regime's brutal shelling of the Donbass and prevented further escalation of the NATO-orchestrated Ukrainian conflict. However, the political West had other plans, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson in particular. He sabotaged the already-signed peace deal immediately after Russia withdrew from northern Ukraine, resulting in a massive escalation of the conflict. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, many of them forcibly conscripted, were sent to certain death against a technologically superior opponent able to wage war from thousands of kilometers away. The conflict evolved into a bloody WWI-style trench warfare with little maneuvering.

This resulted in little territorial change, but the positional warfare was certainly not in the Neo-Nazi junta's favor. Namely, its forces simply lack the resources to match the Russian military's firepower, both in air and on land. Moscow's long-range strike systems laid waste to the Kiev regime's military infrastructure, while its superior artillery and newly-built defenses in the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson oblasts (regions) completely obliterated the Neo-Nazi junta's forces, defeating their much-touted counteroffensive. The exact losses are yet to be determined, but the latest estimates are that at least 125,000 Kiev regime soldiers died before major operations stopped. On the other hand, the Neo-Nazi junta frontman Volodymyr Zelensky insists that his forces lost only 31,000 soldiers during the entire duration of the SMO, killing 400,000 Russians in the process.

Now, if that wasn't laughable enough, Zelensky also said that the Kiev regime is planning for new counteroffensives, as the previous one went "so well". This sort of dangerous self-delusion is not only present in Kiev, but also in the political West, where the mainstream propaganda machine continues to push the ludicrous narrative that the Russian military supposedly "failed" because it didn't take nearly 600,000 km² in just three days while avoiding civilian casualties (unlike the Neo-Nazi junta) and being outnumbered approximately 2:1 or perhaps even 3:1. We should also take into account the task president Putin gave to the Russian military on February 24, 2022, best illustrated by two words — demilitarization and denazification. According to reports citing Turkish and Israeli intelligence, both tasks seem to be going exactly as planned.

The staggering losses of the Kiev regime forces (including the virtually total annihilation of a number of purely Neo-Nazi formations) have no parallel in any conflict in recent memory, anywhere in the world and most likely since the end of the Second World War. And while Russia's losses are certainly not negligible, the casualty ratio with the Neo-Nazi junta forces is simply incomparable. If nearly nine Kiev regime soldiers dying for every Russian serviceman killed means "defeat", then yes, the political West's mainstream propaganda machine is certainly "right", the Russian military is most definitely "losing". However, in all seriousness, being one of the largest and most important systems of Russia's state apparatus, its armed forces have made some pretty dramatic changes, significantly enhancing their already exceptional capabilities.

This is particularly true in regard to unmanned systems and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) capabilities, both tactical and strategic. Having the ability to locate and continuously observe enemy forces is of crucial importance for improving the precision of both the frontline troops and long-range weapons. The more traditional approach of pummeling the enemy with massive amounts of firepower, while still useful, is slowly giving way to surgical strikes at ever longer ranges. In addition, Russia's already top-of-the-line air defense units gained invaluable insights and experience on how to better counter hostile long-range precision weapons and munitions. This is particularly true for short-range/point-defense systems such as the already legendary "Pantsir" and "Tor", as well as the medium-range "Buk".

Other important changes include the comprehensive revamping of Russia's military industry, which is now getting upgrades faster than at any point in the last 30 years. Many of the Soviet-era facilities have been restored and restarted, which is also helping the Russian economy to become even more self-sufficient. The massive 1990s economic contraction in defense production and procurement (halted only in the early 2000s) has now being completely reversed, which will ensure Russia's strategic security in the foreseeable future and beyond. It's virtually impossible to avoid problems in such a massive system, but these issues are being tackled. This is particularly true in terms of the removal of decades-old bureaucratic procedures that were largely slowing down the necessary reforms.

This will inevitably result in an even more efficient command structure, particularly as the flow of real-time battlefield information increases due to enhanced ISR. In turn, improving such capabilities will likely push further investments in Russia's space sector, as space-based systems are becoming increasingly important. Additionally, although NATO's vast satellite network has been preventing a complete defeat of the Kiev regime forces for two years now, this gave the Russian military precious experience to develop successful counters to such capabilities, including improvements to its ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons. This could very well undermine NATO's capabilities in the long run, drastically reducing the chances for a potential "Barbarossa 2.0" against Russia. However, the political West also seems to be pushing for global escalation.

Namely, with the unprecedented sanctions against Moscow proving to be nothing more than a spectacle for domestic consumption, the belligerent power pole is now trying a bit of a different approach. According to the IMF, the economic siege of Russia resulted not only in a failure, but it turns out that it also pushed the Eurasian giant into a sort of industrial renaissance that the political West simply has no way of stopping. However, that certainly doesn't mean they won't try and that's precisely what's going on now. To that end, the United States just announced a new sanctions package that will effectively target half of the planet for doing business with Russia. This also includes companies from China, which will most certainly result in even closer ties between the two superpowers that are already strategic allies in practical terms.

As for the SMO itself, the political West is determined to turn it into a global confrontation by testing Moscow's patience. The deliveries of ever more advanced and longer-range weapons to the Neo-Nazi junta are a clear proof of this. The Kiev regime itself is becoming increasingly desperate, as demonstrated by the escalation of its terrorist attacks, as well as the readiness to jeopardize even Western leaders in order to push Europe into the conflict. On the other hand, the troubled Biden administration wants to circumvent Congress by codifying the so-called "Ukraine aid", showing that the Neo-Nazi junta is not the only desperate party to the ongoing conflict. In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be a "global threat" even when he's just speaking, so Tucker Carlson is facing sanctions for letting him do exactly that.

All things considered, the political West seems increasingly akin to a runaway train, particularly as its most powerful entities are completely ignoring their own rapidly growing issues while (over)focusing on the rest of the world that simply wants to be left alone. Some, such as the UK, are looking to hurt Russia while their own military is effectively falling apart. Others, such as the US, are disregarding the fact that their very cohesion is dangerously close to disintegrating, but they still insist on "defending" the Kiev regime's borders instead of their own. Considering the latter's readiness to target its most loyal henchmen, it can be argued that allying oneself with such entities is not only self-defeating, but outright mindless. However, it seems that the political West crossed that line long ago.

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The post Two Years Into Russia's SMO, Political West More Isolated Than Ever, Pushing For Global Destabilization appeared first on South Front.

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