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|By Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko February 28, 3:30pm EST READ FULL REPORT|
|The Russian military is reorganizing its military efforts in an attempt to remedy poor planning and execution based on erroneous assumptions about Ukrainians’ will and ability to resist. Russian operations around Kyiv remain limited as logistics and reinforcements arrive but will likely resume in greater strength in the next 24 hours. Ukrainian military leaders say that they have used the pause to strengthen Kyiv’s defenses and prepare to defend their capital in depth. The Ukrainian military likely cannot prevent Russian forces from enveloping or encircling Kyiv if the Russians send enough combat power to do so, but likely can make Russian efforts to gain control of the city itself extremely costly and possibly unsuccessful. |
The Russian military has begun using area-attack weapons in the city of Kharkiv, dramatically increasing the damage to civilian infrastructure and the number of civilian casualties it is causing. It is using tube- and rocket artillery against Kharkiv, and unconfirmed reports indicate that it is also using thermobaric weapons, which can have devastating effects, especially on civilian targets. Ukrainian resistance in and around Kharkiv remains determined, but it is unclear how long Ukrainian defenders can hold if Russia sustains or increases attacks of this variety coupled with ground attacks supported by arriving Russian reinforcements.