March 4, 2022

Peculiarities of Russia’s open armed aggression against Ukraine

Ukraine Defense Ministry

(as at 8 a.m. /UTC+3/ March 4)
Situation in Ukraine remains extremely complicated. Kremlin maintains full-scale
armed aggression against Ukraine. Enemy is continuously trying to break down the
defense of key cities and areas in Ukraine.
Russian occupation forces launch air and missile strikes on military and civil
infrastructure objects in Polisskyi, Siverskyi, Slobozhanskyi, Donetsk and Tavriyskyi
operational zones with numerous casualties among civil population.
Due to huge losses in personnel and military equipment, Russian military
command takes measures on formation of additional units on Russian territory for
their further participation in combat actions in Ukraine. Belarusian Armed Forces
units are likely be used in aggression against Ukraine.
In order to spread panic among civilians and influence the moral and
psychological state of Ukraine defenders, the enemy uses the full range of hybrid
measures. Russia troops deliberately destroy educational and medical institutions,
critical civil infrastructure vital for local population.
Being unable to reach goals in Ukraine through military methods, Putin
has order to apply terrorists ones.
Shelling Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, enemy has conducted focused
terrorist act. Spread of fire on any of power units may cause large-scale environmental
disaster. Considering relatively moderate reaction of international community, Kremlin
will highly likely extend the variety of terrorist’s instruments against Ukraine and
its citizens.

  1. Operational environment.
    Russian armed forces grouping continues combat activities at the outskirts of
    Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv with advance on the southern direction to Mykolaiv and
    As of today, Russian military command has engaged at least 111 BTGs (95%)
    from the overall number of units (117 BTGs), which were deployed around Ukraine
    on the 23rd of February.
    Due to huge losses in personnel and military equipment, Russian military
    command has to take emergency measures on formation of additional reserve units.
    Introduction of martial law by adoption of necessary bill by State Duma and
    Council of Federation will be done at the meeting on the 4th of March. New legal
    framework will allow increasing strength of occupational forces with mobilization
    On the 3
    rd of March, occupational forces actions were characterized by:
    Volynskyi operational zone
    Separate units of Special operation forces and airborne troops of Belarusian
    Armed Forces were stationed near Ukrainian border in readiness to engage.

Polisskyi operational zone
Russian command continues relocation of its reserves into Ukraine from
Belarus. The enemy keeps deploying AD systems in order to defend its troops from
Ukrainian aviation (including UAVs).
Moreover, enemy carries out work on available airstrip at former airfield in the
vicinity of Prybirsk (Kyiv Oblast) to prepare it for landing of army aviation.
Siverskiy operational zone
Enemy continues regrouping of its troops in order to take control over
Chernihiv and to change strike directions on Kyiv. Russian troops have delivered
huge strikes on civilian objects in Chernihiv by aviation and artillery assets. In result,
22 locals were killed.
In Peremoha (Kyiv Oblast) enemy engineer units have constructed
a pontoon bridge in order to provide troops movement in direction of Kyiv.
Slobozhanskyi operational zone
Aggressor units continue combat actions on the outskirts of Kharkiv delivering
huge missile/air strikes and shelling by MLRSs on residential buildings and
infrastructure objects. There are numerous losses among the locals.
Furthermore, enemy is planning provocative fire on border area districts of
Belgorod Oblast (Belarus) in order to accuse Ukrainian Armed Forces in armed
aggression against Russia. Such a provocation can be used as an argument for
implementation of martial law in Russia.
Donetskyi operational zone
Russian troops keep moving in direction of Mariupol with missile and air
strikes support, mostly on civilian objects.
Tavriyskyi operational zone
Enemy continues offensive actions to surround and capture Kherson and
Zaporizhzhia with artillery shelling on residential buildings, critical infrastructure
objects and numerous losses among civilians (at least 30 persons killed).
On March 4, in the early morning, the occupant forces have shelled Zaporizhia
Nuclear Power Plant (Energodar) by artillery that caused a fire at the station. Spread
of fire on any of power units may cause large-scale environmental disaster with
unpredictable consequences.
Black Sea and Azov operational zones
Enemy maintains preparation for marine assault operation on the Black Sea
shore in order to capture Odesa. For this purpose, two groups of landing ships are
moving in the respective area. For counterassault defense destruction Russian Su-
24M bomber has delivered air strike on the sea shore near Odesa.
Cargo ship “Helt” (Panama flag, with Russian citizens among the crew) was
sunk as a result of artillery shelling by Russian Navy forces ships. At the same time,
Russian ship interfered Ukrainian seek and rescue operation to save the crew.

  1. Violation of international law regarding warfare principles.
    The Kremlin actively continues to use sabotage-reconnaissance forces and its
    own agents to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. Ukraine military unit will likely be

used to carry out provocations at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border in order to create
background for an open invasion of the Belarusian armed forces into Ukraine.
In order to spread panic among civilians and influence the moral and
psychological state of Ukraine defenders, the enemy uses the full range of hybrid
measures. Enemy continues cyber attacks on information resources of public
authorities and local administrations spreading of fake messages about the
capitulation of Ukrainian`s leadership.
The enemy takes measures to gain control over the objects of
telecommunication systems, limiting the possibility of acquiring reliable information
by the locals (first of all, the enemy terminated Ukrainian television and radio
broadcast, blocked mobile communications and the Internet). Such cases were noted
in Kherson, when the aggressor seized the television station. A mobile
communication station in Mariupol is also damaged by the enemy.
There are continuing facts of looting and war crimes in the settlements
captured by the enemy. There are cases of engaging convicts from the occupied
Crimean peninsula for situation destabilization in the Kherson region, commitment of
robberies and tortures against locals.

  1. Kremlin’s measures regarding war in Ukraine “legitimation”
    Amid rising protest sentiments in Russian society, the Kremlin has stepped up
    its influence on its own population and increased censorship.
    On 3rd of March the Russian Ministry of Education held a “peace lesson” on
    the topic of “peace defenders” in all educational institutions of the country. The
    lecture was based on the Russian President’s speech of February 21, 2022.
    The main narratives promoted by Russian propaganda:
    “an illegitimate fascist regime is established in Ukraine”;
    “Ukraine is heading down an “anti-Russian path”;
    “the Russian AF operation in Ukraine is not a war”;
    “all of Russia’s actions are aimed at ending the war (which has been going on
    for 7 years) and preserving Russia”;
    “actions of the Russian law enforcement agencies are aimed at preventing
    terrorist acts”;
    “Russia conducts a humanitarian operation in Ukraine”.
    In social networks the Russian propagandists launched an all-Russian flash
    mob “Z – zashchita” (protection), which aim is to increase support for the Russian
    Armed Forces military actions in Ukraine by Russian population.
    At the same time the State Duma Committee on State Construction approved
    the amendment to the Crimes Act of Russian Federation to introduce criminal
    responsibility and imprisonment for up to 15 years for “public distribution of
    deliberately untruthful information about the Russian Armed Forces’ application”.
    Also the committee of Russian parliament recommended in the second reading to
    approve the bill on criminal responsibility with a term of imprisonment for up to 3
    years for calling for
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