1. Russia does not control the Ukrainian railways. They cannot use the railroads to funnel more troops into Ukraine. This is very problematic, since rail transport is one of the easiest ways to get lots of men and materiel to the front. Nor has Russia managed to deny the Ukrainians the use of their elaborate network. This also means that Ukrainian reinforcements can still be shifted from west to east or even from east to west. This means that the Ukrainians have the advantage of interior lines. What does that mean? For example: the front in Ukraine is like a triangle. There is Kiev, Charkov and Mariupol. The Russians are wrapped around these three points across a broad front. Ukraine can more easily send troops from Charkov to Kiev than the Russians can send troops from Charkov to Kiev, because they don’t have interior lines. The same is true for Kiev-Mariupol. This is one of the advantages the Ukrainians currently enjoy. This advantage can be somewhat undone if the Russians can completely cut off all routes into these cities, but they clearly haven’t been able to do that.
2. Ukraine is targeting high ranking Russian officers. So far they have reportedly killed four of them. There are 20 Russian generals in Ukraine. This means that one in five Russian generals have been killed. That’s extremely uncommon. There could be several reasons behind this and all of them are bad news for the Russians. Generals don’t usually need to direct their troops so close to the front. The fact that these Russian generals expose themselves to enemy fire must indicate that the Russian leadership is frantically trying to gain control over the situation on the ground. It also means that the Ukrainians know where these generals are. There have been reports that the Russians are not protecting their communication. Even private companies could easily listen in on everything the Russians were saying to each other. This means that the Ukrainians are intercepting the messages and conversations of their enemy. This is a huge advantage. If they can locate generals they can also monitor all Russian troop movements. Killing those generals can be destabilizing on the Russian side. Mostly these are symbolic victories that boost Ukrainian morale. It could also spark dissent among the Russian high command. Generals think differently when they don’t just risk the lives of their men, but also their own.
3. As predicted Russia has opted to terrorize the civilian population. The more civilians run away the better for the Russians. So naturally they make sure all civilians have reason to be terrified. The Russians – so far – lack the capabilities to successfully enter large Ukrainian cities. They seem to be punishing Ukraine to surrender to Russia without full scale attempts to storm Kiev. It may also mean that they are simply not capable of conquering those cities at present. Without the fall of these major cities it will always look like the Ukrainians are holding out and … winning this war. As frustration among the Russian soldiers grows we will see more wanton attacks on innocent civilians. The same circumstances led American soldiers to slaughter Vietnamese civilians.
4. Zelensky claims 40 percent of the Russian units have been destroyed. If true, then why does he keep asking for help? 40 percent? That’s a staggering amount. If Ukraine is whipping Russia that badly we can expect Ukraine to capture Moscow in a week or two… So this claim may be wildly exaggerated for propaganda reasons.
5. Both sides want to claim victory, without actually having won anything. You can see both sides trying to manipulate the mind of the public to make it seem as though they got what they wanted. Right now there are only losers. Ukraine’s hope of joining Nato is dead. It has found out the hard way that Europe stands with Ukraine, as long as it doesn’t have to fight for it. Not an enviable position. The reputation of the Russian army is now a mere frazzle of what it was before this started and there is a near global anti-Russian frenzy going on that is going to last for some time. Ukraine has been giving a free pass for whatever they did wrong, but Russia is not going to leave without at least taking more Ukrainian territory. As long as it doesn’t lose too much it will have won a moral victory. Perhaps the best thing that will come out of this for Ukraine is that it will be able to join the European Union. Which will be a financial burden to the EU for years to come, although Ukraine does have a lot of potential.
It all depends on how far the Russians are willing to go to beat Ukraine into submission. If it still wants a clear cut military victory it will have to step up its efforts, mobilize more men and use even more destructive force to conquer cities.