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Ukraine Conflict: US Tanks Enter the Fray and Doubts Arise Over Russian Admiral's Death

In a significant move, President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the arrival of US Abrams tanks in Ukraine, strengthening the country's military stance against Russia. Out of a committed total of 31, it is uncertain how many of these US battle tanks have currently reached Ukrainian soil. The US, as Kyiv's primary military ally, has provided military aid amounting to nearly US$43.9 billion since Russia's invasion began in February 2022. However, the long-sought Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles by Kyiv, with a striking range of up to 300km, remain excluded from recent equipment provisions.

The ongoing conflict saw a significant turn with Ukraine's assault on the headquarters of Russia's esteemed Black Sea naval Fleet in Sevastopol, leading to claims from Kyiv that the fleet's commander, Viktor Sokolov, perished in the attack. Contradictorily, Sokolov was seen in a recent video conference overseen by the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, casting doubts over Ukrainian claims.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, last week Ukraine employed drones and cruise missiles in a concentrated attack on the Crimean Peninsula, a territory under Russian control since its controversial annexation from Ukraine in 2014. Although the impact on the Russian Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol is evident, Moscow's official stance mentions only one individual missing post-attack. Sokolov had taken over command of the Black Sea Fleet in 2022, following his predecessor's removal post the sinking of the missile cruiser Moskva.

Amid the fog of war, where both sides occasionally amplify the opponent's casualties while downplaying their own, the actual toll of the recent assault remains ambiguous.

Ukraine's intensified operations in the Black Sea and Crimea include missile strikes, in addition to using assault drones, aiming at crippling the Russian Black Sea fleet to expedite the war's conclusion. The severity of Ukraine's recent Sevastopol offensives can be assessed by an emergency meeting convened by the city's Russian-appointed governor, Mikhail Razvozhayev, to fortify the city's defense mechanisms.

Recognizing the escalating threats, Razvozhayev acknowledged the changing dynamics of the war, emphasizing the need for readiness against new categories of threats.

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Unknown member
Sep 27, 2023

Interesting article on the BBC yesterday about the 24th Mech Bde. A key paragraph follows:

In the run-up to war, the 24th Brigade was just over 2,000 strong, rotating its three battalions to the front line in eastern Ukraine for occasional tours of duty. Although the Ukrainian army rarely discusses numbers, sources told me it has now swelled to more than 7,000, with a total of five infantry battalions, four of artillery, a tank battalion and numerous other supporting elements.

This explains why Ukrainian bdes can stay in combat for so long and still be combat effective. They are nearly small divisions and have staying power.

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