Ukrainian Forces Block Simferopol’ Moscow Highway, N. Crimea

It looks like the Ukrainian military is not taking Russian aggression lying down.  According to the Kiev newspaper Delo elements of the 79th Ukrainian Aeromobile Brigade successfully established a road block on the main highway running NW out of the Crimea (from the map this looks like the M17) through Kherson to Kharkov and on to Moscow.  The paper was not very clear about the location of the block but it looks to be in the vicinity of Armyansk.  From this position the Ukrainians can block a Russian advance into the heart of south central and SW Ukraine, towards Kiev.

According to the paper “so-called Russian ‘Cossacks'” (presumably armed men in uniform without insignia, or ununiformed armed groups) are also present in the area.  Local inhabitants, Delo claims, view the Ukrainians as protectors and are very  unhappy about the “Cossacks'” presence. Today, March 7, they plan to meet the Russians and ask them to leave.

Delo claims that the Ukrainians have armored support and are well dug in. This is an important deployment, blocking a key invasion route into west Ukraine.  It looks the Ukrainian government is ready to fight on this line.

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Also according to Delo the Ukrainian military continues to anticipate attacks on units inside the Crimea, in particular on the units with the highest preparedness, in Sevastopol and Feodosia.  An anonymous spokesman for the military described “three possibilities”.

1. Air attacks, including possibly helicopter gunships, which have been seen deploying in the area.

2. All-out storm of Ukrainian positions by elite Russian commmandos, such as the “Alpha” group, already in place in the Crimea.

3. Continued pressure by “Cossacks,” using Russian “activists” as human shields (daring the Ukrainians to shoot at “civilians”).

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