On February 27, the Ukrainian military began mass use of phosphorus-filled ammunition in Kiev’s suburbs near the Gostomel airfield. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukrainian forces are using phosphorus-filled 122 mm shells for D-30 howitzers and phosphorus-filled rockets for BM-21 Grad launchers. These munitions are banned under the third protocol of the 1980 UN Convention on Inhumane Weapons.
New assault units of the nationalist organization Right Sector arrived in Mariupol from the Lvov Region. They deployed armored vehicles and artillery in residential areas of the city, using the local population as “human shields”. Civilian cars are being shot at in the city. There are reports of dozens of civilians killed by nationalists.
Ukrainian Tochka-U targeted Mariupol:
The AFU MLRS was destroyed by the fire of the Russian Armed Forces near Mariupol:
AFU cargo helicopters are sending reinforcements to the city:
In Severodonetsk, a city in the Lugansk region, volunteer nationalist units from Western Ukraine, acting as barrier units, are trying to stop retreating AFU units under threat of being shot by their commanders. On February 27, they shot four AFU officers attempting to lead their soldiers out of the line of fire.
These measures do not stop the retreat of the AFU units. There are periodic exchanges of fire between units of nationalist battalions and Ukrainian AFU units.
The civilians demand that the AFU withdraw armored vehicles from residential buildings in Severodonetsk: “our basements are full of children!”
The AFU military equipments destroyed near Severodonetsk:
The village of Bugas, located 2 kilometres from the key position of Ukrainian units in Donbas, the village of Volnovakha, is now liberated by DPR units. On the evening of February 27, an assault directly on Volnovakha began. The results of the assault as of 2 a.m. local time on February 28 are not known. The settlement remains under Ukrainian control.
DPR units advanced 6 km more from northeast to southwest in the direction of Mariupol, and the settlements of Nizhnee, Granitnoye, and Gnutovo were liberated, the Russian Defense Ministry said. In an attempt to stop DPR forces in this direction, Ukrainian units struck the urban settlement of Sartana, which is closer to Mariupol, with Grads.
In the direction of the Russian military offensive (Crimean grouping) from the west and northwest to the east and southeast along the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, the large settlement of Berdyansk was liberated in the afternoon of February 27. On the evening of February 27, Russian units approached the village of Mangush, 10 kilometers west of Mariupol.
Local residents are forced to clean the roads, which were mined by retreating Ukrainian units:
On the night of February 28, reports were received from local residents that street battles were taking place in Mariupol. Thus, in Kirov Square, there was a clash between police and an unidentified military unit. There is also fighting near the city center, near 96 Metallurgov Street.
There is street fighting in Kharkov. Russian units are facing strong resistance. Russia continues to refuse to use aviation and artillery on residential areas. For their part, locals report the use of artillery on residential areas by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
On February 27, one of the advance groups of the Russian Armed Forces in Kharkiv, which had advanced into the city on light military vehicles, was destroyed. At least one serviceman of the Russian Armed Forces was taken captive. The Russian command’s incomprehensible actions continue in the Kharkiv direction, which are successfully exploited by the defending Ukrainian units. It is premature to speak of the capture of the city or even of partial control by Russia. As of February 28, the defense of the Kharkiv area is an example of the most successful actions of the AFU against the Russian Defense Ministry.
Two civilians were reportedly blamed to be Russian saboteurs and killed by Ukrainian nazi units:
Neither Sumy, nor Kherson, nor Berdyansk, nor any of the other major cities that are blockaded or partially liberated have yet been mopped up, and it is unlikely that their mopping will begin today or tomorrow. There are no enough forces on the Russian side.
Zaporizhzhya is not yet blockaded – the Russian forces attempting to encircle the AFU grouping in Donetsk have left the city behind their left flank.
Operational battles are taking place near Kiev. No deep breakthroughs by Russian troops have been observed. Meanwhile, they are making some progress on the ground, apparently in order to prepare a further offensive to blockade Kiev from the west. As of the night of February 28, the city was blockaded only from the northwest. Large columns of Russian military vehicles, consisting of more than 100 units, were observed within a 5-kilometer radius of the city.
Forward Russian units are gradually approaching the city from the east, but they still have a dozen of kilometers to go before the city limits. The situation in the city is worsening, with gangs of looters and criminals on the loose, who received weapons handed to them by order of Ukrainian President Zelensky.
Near Nikolaev, the situation has not changed significantly.
A very alarming situation is developing in Odessa. Units of the AFU and nationalist units deployed in the city have begun harassing the city’s residents, fearing pro-Russian sentiment. Armed natives of Syria and Albania have appeared in the city, standing on the side of Kiev. Amid rumors circulating about a Russian landing force and introduced curfew, shooting began without warning at civilian vehicles traveling through the city at night.
In general, it should be noted that the advance of Russian forces has slowed down, but there are still continuous operational successes in a number of areas. The AFU suffers heavy losses and is forced to retreat, leaving “fortress garrisons” in the hope that they can contain the large Russian forces and extinguish the pace of advance.
According to sources in the Russian Defense Ministry, during the first four days of fighting, the Russian army lost a total of 270-300 fighters, including servicemen of the Russian Defense Ministry, the Rosgvardiya and the Interior Ministry, as well as losses of servicemen of the LDPR (most of the LDPR soldiers are also Russian citizens).
At the same time, the source noted that given the scale of the operation, which included four fronts and the involvement of all branches of troops, which Russia had never done before on such a scale, the losses were even less than could have been expected.
The source does not undertake to estimate losses on the Ukrainian side, suggesting that they are several times higher.
Ukrainian soldiers force a wounded Russian serviceman to shout “Glory to Ukraine!” on pain of execution. Despite the threats, he shouted “Glory to Russia, Glory to Ukraine!”
Ukrainian President Zelensky confirmed information about the destruction of the An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft on the planet. The plane was destroyed by the Ukrainians themselves with artillery fire.
The situation in the international arena is rapidly escalating. The head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrel said that the EU will supply combat aircraft to Ukraine. Most likely, it means the supply of Soviet aircraft from the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. The delivery of thousands of weapons and the blocking of a large part of the Russian banking system were also announced. It is planned to impose restrictions and seizures on the assets of the Russian Central Bank.
Turkey has officially closed the Bosporus and the Dardanelles to Russian and Ukrainian warships.
In its turn, China announced about holding of naval exercises in the South China Sea from February 27 to March 1. Earlier, PRC officials said that “the time for Taiwan to return home” is approaching.
In the second half of February 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov to put the Russian army’s deterrence forces on special alert. According to him, high-ranking Western officials “make aggressive statements” about Russia.
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