Following last week’s post, as the tension between Ukraine and Russia continues to rise, I would like to give an update on the latest happenings inside the frontier. Although the strain between Russia and Ukraine wasn’t a newfound one, no one expected this to turn into full-scale war! Last week, multiple missile strikes were launched on Kyiv while Russian troops broke out of Crimea, through front lines near Kharkiv, and engaged in fights south of Belarus, and around Donetsk. According to the US secretary of state, Russia plans to encircle and threaten Kyiv, and we are not surprised anymore that the US can involve itself in this hot mess from another continent. The US defense secretary Lloyd Austin reported that according to a phone call that took place about 6.30 pm ET on Thursday, Russian mechanized forces that entered Ukraine from Belarus were 32km away from Kyiv. The Ukrainian interior ministry reported that they shot down a Russian military aircraft over Kyiv. During these attacks, a lot of Ukrainian citizens had to flee to bomb shelters and metro stations, the ones unable to flee presenting to the world a ton of heartbreaking scenes. According to “The Cable”, deaths in Ukraine reached a toll of 198 people and over 1,000 of the citizens are wounded. Although the picture of war is such a despairing and undesirable one, support to Ukraine was declared by various groups including the famous hacker group “Anonymous” and a thousand other OSINT researchers, which stands for ‘open source intelligence’. With the collaborative effort from countless experts, footages of critical sites of military engagement between Russia and Ukraine were revealed. Some OSINT analysts also raise concerns that they might be playing into Russia’s hands as false footages from the Russian side might instill more fear into people’s hearts and ultimately cause Ukraine to give in. Nevertheless, against all odds, Ukraine president Zelenskiy declares that he and his family will not leave Ukraine despite being identified as the ‘number one target’ by Russia. From another perspective, some footages paint not-so-bright pictures for the Russian government. The fiercest battle has been around Kharkiv, in the northeast of Ukraine according to Kyle Glen, the co-founder of Conflict News, a popular OSINT-focused online news platform. Glen shared a video of burning Russian tanks and a dead Russian soldier. He states, “There is a possibility that Russia wants this information to leak out, however, they are definitely not doing as well as they hoped in the Kharkiv region and there are a lot of videos of dead soldiers and destroyed Russian equipment. They are not going to be happy about stuff like that coming out.”
As can be seen from the latest evidence, there is without a doubt a fierce war going on, that left countless families in Ukraine helpless. On the other hand, it is important to pay attention to the fact that Ukraine is not without any help or power in this war, and what tomorrow brings is still undetermined. With leaking information about the war and the strategic side of the advances made by either side, we are able to rid ourselves of assumptions about the battle. We all hoped for a peaceful end to the tension between these two countries, but following our failure of obtaining such an outcome, we still at least hope for minimal damage to people’s lives and all other living beings.