#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Europe discusses the purchase of ammunition for Kiev. Sergei Kotov sunk, new attack on Crimean bridge fails

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Victoria Nuland, the third-ranking American diplomat, often the target of criticism for her aggressive views on Russia and her actions in Ukraine, has resigned because of her not-so-diplomatic outings.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps returned to the issue of the link between Iran and Moscow: “Britain believes that Iran has supplied Russia with ballistic missiles. Iran has a negative impact on Europe.”

On March 2nd, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was in Rome, according to whom we need “more ammunition, more weapons production, more investments and coordination in defense capabilities. Europe is at war (…) We are at the dawn of a new, more turbulent and difficult era,” he said while in Rome.

“Another important issue he reiterated” – Frederiksen – “will be to effectively increase the interoperability of the armaments of the various European forces. Fragmentation is very high, with striking cases such as in the long-running joint German-Dutch unit, where both sides use 155 mm ammunition, but which are not interchangeable due to slight differences in production. Bringing European defense to a new level of the EU military will involve a power surge along several axes that could be complex: between the Commission and the Council, between Brussels and the Member States, between the EU and NATO, organizations who are now strengthening their cooperation”.

France will support the Czech proposal to supply 800 thousand ammunition to Ukraine, Bloomberg reports. Macron will discuss the procurement plan with the Czech president and prime minister and there will be a separate discussion between EU defense and foreign ministers this week to finalize the details. Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have joined France in backing a plan to buy ammunition outside the EU.

Bloomberg notes that European allies are struggling to meet commitments to supply Kiev with military equipment at a delicate moment in the war, when Ukrainian officials fear Russian troops could breach their defenses before the summer.

Macron recalled 1940: “We are certainly approaching a moment in our Europe when it will be appropriate not to be cowards… War has returned to our soil.”

“The leak of information about German war plans was a personal mistake,” said Defense Minister Pistorius, who also announced the return of compulsory conscription in Germany.

On the night of March 4, as expected by the Russian social sphere, an attack came in the Black Sea. The patrol ship Sergei Kotov was attacked by the Ukrainian MBEC in the Feodosia area. Previously, on February 14, 2024 the Black Sea Fleet lost the Caesar Kunikov BDK in a battle with the MBEC. At night, Ukrainian formations attempted to attack targets in Crimea using missiles, UAVs and BECs. One of the targets was the Crimean Bridge, the attack was repelled.

After midnight, the patrol ship “Sergey Kotov”, which was on combat duty south of the Kerch Strait, was attacked by five unmanned boats of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (they were preparing for the attack, the BECs were adrift in the central part of the Black Sea). Project 22160 ships are not equipped with the necessary means of protection: there is no air or anti-submarine defense. Only two machine guns insufficient to hit group targets.

After the impact, a tugboat and a patrol boat went to the aid of the crew, and a Rosguard Mi-8 helicopter flew to the site of the attack, which destroyed the sixth unmanned vessel in the west. By 3am, most of the crew had been evacuated to tugboats (three in total) and the decision was made to tow the ship into port. However, the fight for the survival of the vessel, which began late and due to waiting for orders from the command, essentially decided the outcome, leading to the sinking of the Russian ship.

In the morning, the “Sergei Kotov” began to sink southeast of Cape Takil. Three more BECs appeared south of the Crimean Bridge, destroyed by the Mi-8 helicopter thanks to the illumination of the tugboats’ searchlights. The bridge was apparently the target of the attack.

Project 22160 ships are not equipped to combat modern threats. Relatively cheap BECs sink expensive ships. The Russian social sphere complains that the ship sank also due to bureaucracy “at the time of the attack which caused the rather late start of the fight for the survival of the ship. She could have been saved if everything started in a timely manner.” And again: “The entire fleet does not have the practice of correcting its own mistakes: the same problems arise systematically. How to go out alone without the necessary equipment and night surveillance”.

The tactics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are changing: they now attack at night in groups of up to 10 drones, and not one or two BECs (apparently, they first accumulate drones and then strike). In the absence of the necessary countermeasures and poor visibility, this is quite logical, which every time results in the loss of ships for the Russians.

And now a look at the front line: Russian armed forces strike Odessa and Ilyichevsk with “gerans” in the darkness. According to the Ukrainian social sphere, the impact was important.

In the direction of Kherson there is a methodical destruction of groups of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the Antonovsky Bridge in the “dachas”. Fighting also continues in Krynki.

On the Zaporozhzhie front, Rabotino is a gray zone where Russian units operate, reaching the center of the village near the school. According to field estimates there are not enough helicopters of the required type; if there is electronic warfare, it works according to a not entirely perfect EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) plan. The Ukrainians are moving reinforcements and firing artillery quite effectively and frequently. Ukrainian reconnaissance drones operate up to 10 km from the LBS deep into the Russian defense, FPV drones, thanks to a repeater system, operate even further away.

North of Marinka, Russian armed forces are gaining a foothold on the outskirts of Krasnohorivka. On the way to Kurachove, the Russians pass through Heorhiivka. In the pro-Russian social sphere, successes are reported in Novomikhailivka. Russian MLRS are constantly working in the direction of Vuhledar from the north, destroying the defensive structures of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

West of Avdiivka, the battle continues in Berdychi, Orlivka, the villages of Sjeverne and Tonen’ke. The Russians are gradually moving forward, bombing the Ukrainians with FABs. There is fighting going on.

Direction of Časiv Jar, the Russian army is knocking out the Ukrainian armed forces in the southwestern outskirts of Ivanivske (Krasny) west of Bachmut. There are reports of fighting near Bohdanivka in the north.

In the direction of Lyman District, Russian troops are advancing towards Terny. They do not rule out the imminent start of battles for the settlement itself.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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