This is no longer up for debate.
Either the Mayor of Mariupol and those in charge of the forces there will surrender with honor (whatever that means) or the entire city and tens of thousands of people face extermination.
That’s reality, not just some blogger posting.
Regardless of the decision in the next few hours, Russia will have their “land bridge” that Western media has made such a big deal about. It is not, however, a “mission accomplished” moment. It is just a marker, like Denmark in 1940, or Poland in 1939. The Russians are not finished nor is this conflict no matter the stalling tactics introduced by Russian diplomats via the media outlets.
The Donbas theatre is winding down, which means the bigger shows in Western Ukraine via Lviv and Odessa are about to begin.
The nightly update is below, a secondary update will follow at 09:00 UTC.
09:00 UTC UPDATE:
So much for “progress” in the peace talks:
Odessa being shelled by the Russian Navy:
Odessa pic.twitter.com/RbhNOCIU6w— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_ww) March 21, 2022
Kharkov and Mariupol continue to get hammered:
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops keep using their cell phones and Russian intelligence tracks down their locations to attack their bases:
And as usual, the UK Daily Mail has the dramatic headline of the morning. Mariupol has chosen to become a war zone of epic World War II type destruction instead of allowing the civilians to exit peacefully.
Mariupol ‘will NOT surrender’: Besieged Ukrainian city where 300,000 are trapped vows to fight to the LAST soldier and rejects Russia’s demand to lay down their arms or face ‘humanitarian crisis’ – as those who do make it out go to ‘filtration camps’
As time permits, I shall update more via my Telegram channel.
Via the UK Daily Mail:
Ukraine President Zelensky warns of WWIII if another round of talks fail with Russia as he slams Putin’s preposterous ‘de-Nazification’ claims
Umm, sport, World War 3 has already started, your nation is just the modern day Poland of Europe.
A must read thread by Michael Kofman on the failures of the invasion but the coming strategy in the weeks to come:
Thoughts on the current state of the war and where things might be heading. About 2 weeks ago I suggested that Russian forces have ~3 weeks before combat effectiveness becomes increasingly exhausted. I think that’s generally been right, but we’re not quite there yet. Thread. 1/ pic.twitter.com/DxPyxZFowy— Michael Kofman (@KofmanMichael) March 20, 2022
I totally concur with his assessment and there is a complete thread reader app version at this link.
Definitely some secondary explosions from this Russian strike on a position in/near Kiev:
Something being hit in Kiev pic.twitter.com/1XQUU4q8HN— Russians With Attitude (@RWApodcast) March 20, 2022
Better view of the strike:
And here is the Ukrainian version of propaganda, not via CNN for once, enticing the Russians to kill more people with this kind of stupid commentary:
That’s sort of like residents of Warsaw in late September of 1939 promising to kill every German as their nation is bombed into oblivion.
Meanwhile, the Russians still are pretty clear about what this war means and just how far they will go:
Not good and not good for the prospects of a lasting ceasefire.
And another missile strike caught on camera in Kiev:
Another view of the missile strike in Kyiv, looks like it may have been an Iskander pic.twitter.com/URI4rLNQlh— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) March 20, 2022
Heads up, the audio on this one is LOUD:
Loud explosion in Kyiv this evening. pic.twitter.com/O1eFBrwxWn— Status-6 (@Archer83Able) March 20, 2022
What’s left of Mariupol is burning still:
Mariupol earlier today.. pic.twitter.com/GgkPrGTsTX— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_ww) March 20, 2022
And on the ground, before the ultimatum, it got hairy:
Mariupol, close call for DNR media team. pic.twitter.com/NhsGB5WpsV— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_ww) March 20, 2022
I shall try to update at 0900 and then throughout the day via my Telegram channel.
May we all live in interesting times indeed.