Good morning from Kyiv. It was an unsettled night in the capital with Russia launching another wave of kamikaze drones overnight. Air raid sirens sounded just before 1 am with the all clear being given three hours later.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, 15 drones were launched, 13 of which were shot down. There are currently no reports of casualties.
In Kyiv, after a relatively quiet few days, there was sense of resignation in the air. Journalist Margo Gontar wrote on Twitter: “And of course it’s air raid siren alert in Kyiv. Just when I thought there were not so many during the night. Fkc you Russia.”
Unfortunately, at the time of writing another alert has sounded so we await to see what happens this morning.
What’s happening today?
Aside from air raid alerts, the main story is still the situation in Bakhmut which remains with Ukraine still holding firm but Russia making limited advances and gaining what analysts have described as a “positional advantage”
In what may be a very significant development and an indication of the wider problems the Kremlin is facing, Ukrainian authorities are reporting that commanders of Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet are refusing to carry out the orders to attack Vuhledar in the Donetsk region.
“The leaders of the brigade and senior officers are refusing to proceed with a new senseless attack as demanded by their unskilled commanders – to storm well-defended Ukrainian positions with little protection or preparation,” Ukraine’s military said in a statement.
You can read more about that story here.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
During his daily address on Tuesday evening, President Zelensky described the fighting in eastern Ukraine as “painful and challenging” and praised the “bravery, strength, and invincibility of the warriors fighting in Donbas.”
But the main thrust of his speech was given to highlighting efforts to ensure “that the terrorist state is held fully accountable for what it has done to our country and our people.”
He added: “All Russian murderers, every organizer of this aggression, everyone who in any way sustains the war against our country and terror against our people must be punished. And this is not just a dream of justice. This is work that is already underway. These are agreements that we are already reaching. These are institutions that are already working and will work even harder to restore justice, to punish those responsible for aggression.”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on March 6 focuses on the dire state of Russian tank units, noting that the “Russian military has continued to respond to heavy armored vehicle losses by deploying 60-year-old T-62 main battle tanks (MBT).”
It adds: “There is a realistic possibility that even units of the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), supposedly Russia’s premier tank force, will be re-equipped with T-62s to make up for previous losses.
“In recent days, Russian BTR-50 armored personnel carriers, first fielded in 1954, have also been identified deployed in Ukraine for the first time.
“However, both these vintage vehicle types will present many vulnerabilities on the modern battlefield, including the absence of modern explosive reactive armor.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s March 5 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· Ukrainian forces are likely conducting a limited tactical withdrawal in Bakhmut, although it is still too early to assess Ukrainian intentions concerning a complete withdrawal from the city.
· The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically sound as it continues to consume Russian manpower and equipment as long as Ukrainian forces do not suffer excessive casualties.
· The Russian offensive to capture Bakhmut will likely culminate whether Russian forces capture the city or not, and the Russian military will likely struggle to maintain any subsequent offensive operations for some months.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.
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