The assault on Nikolaev
Tonight, 4 May 2022, the Russian military assault on Nikolaev began. Here are some links to video and other footage of the beginning of the assault.
The following is a summary of events as we know them so far.
Russian hypersonic ballistic missiles have hit the railway tracks heading north out of Nikolaev to Dolynska, the principal Ukrainian logistics route to supply their armed forces defending the Nikolaev outskirts.
At the same time, unknown ballistic missiles have struck the only arterial road out of Nikolaev still open, that runs to Odessa. The missiles have created impassable craters in the tarmac, to prevent the road from being used as a Ukrainian armed forces logistics artillery.
Yesterday, ship launched cruise missiles created several impassable craters in Odessa airport's runway, so that it is now entirely unusable by the US military cargo planes employing the runway as an artery for supplying Ukrainian armed forces in the southwest.
Now the only route out of Nikolaev is by train to Russian-occupied Kherson.
On this subject, see our earlier post: https://www.the-paladins.com/post/the-russification-of-ukrainian-railways
The road between Nikolaev and Kherson has been cut by a tank-based Russian military roadblock.
The daily civilian train from Kherson to Nikolaev is full of (a) FSB people; and (b) Chechen people.
The Chechens, under the leadership of Ramzan Kadyrov, now an officer in the Russian Armed Forces, are a band of assassins.
The Russian strategy for the occupation of Nikolaev is therefore apparently not to confront the significant Ukrainian armed forces encampment north and east of the city head on: but to cut logistical supplies to them while subjecting metropolitan Nikolaev to a door-to-door Chechen-led assassination policy, much as was done to Grozny during the Second Chechen War.
After the door-to-door exterminations have been completed, the Russian military will advance on Nikolaev principally from the sea, using the Yuzhniy Bug river that takes them into the city centre. Land forces will also enter from the east.
Dear God, let us pray for the people of Nikolaev who are not substantially evacuated so far due to a misplaced sense that their city was not (yet) the epicentre of a major episode in theatre in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The politicians in Kyiv are being alarmingly silent about the fate to befall Nikolaev, because they know, that as one of the principal Russophone cities in the South, the people of Nikolaev are at best tepid supporters of Kyiv's cause.
Once Nikolaev has fallen, Odessa will be the next to fall, her defences and logistics being cut off from all sides.
It is predicted that neither Kyiv nor the West will do anything about this. Ukraine's partition into a southerly / easterly industrial Russian parastate with access to the Black Sea: and a northern / westerly agrarian landlocked rump, will thereby become irreversible.