I want to understand the situation on the frontline. What should I do? Read military experts who collect data from official and open sources.

Gleb Gusev
I want to understand the situation on the frontline. What should I do? Read military experts who collect data from official and open sources.

Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Serhii Shaptala and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Facebook / Генеральний штаб ЗСУ

The world community of open data investigators has been preparing for the Russian invasion of Ukraine for a while now: even before February 24th, they have been describing Russian forcesʼ locations on the border, grounding on pictures of military machinery that were massively posted online. For example, an analyst using Jomini of the West nickname has predicted an overall course of the future war on February 20th. On February 22nd, he also described how the Russian army would act in the cities. Now he and several more investigators are regularly comparing reports of the Ukrainian and Russian General staffs, localsʼ posts in social networks, war correspondents’ stories, and satellite images. As a result, every day they compile not a perfectly detailed yet clear picture of the combat front situation. Based on these pictures, the analysts sometimes can make hypotheses regarding the Russian strategies, which for sure should only be perceived as assumptions. “Babel” recommends four independent sources whose observations, in our opinion, can be trusted: analysts from the USA and Australia and one team from Russia that had to evacuate from Russia after the beginning of the war.

The USA-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization founded in 2007. ISW monitors official messages of Ukrainian and Russian General staffs, as well as the Twitter and Telegram channels of photos geolocation experts. The Institute publishes daily updates on its website.

The map shows the combat situation as of March 11. Summary: The advance of the Russian army has been stopped, it continues the siege of Mariupol and the attack on Severodonetsk. Russian troops are regrouping near Kharkiv and Sumy. The Ukrainian Army has stopped the attack on Mykolayiv and Zaporizhzhia.

Institute for the Study of War

Analyst Jomini of the West might be a Georgetown University wargaming club member. Jomini posts an analysis of the daily situation on his Twitter.

Map shows the location of armed forces near Kyiv and Chernihiv from the combat situation analysis as of March 10. The Ukrainian army has stopped Russian attack on Kyiv from west and east, it continues to attack the vulnerable positions of the Russian army and its supply line. 

Jomini of the West / Twitter

Analyst Nathan Ruser is an employee of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He tweets about the situation in Ukraine daily.

Map showing the distribution of the Russian military convoys northwest of Kyiv. Areas of roads controlled by the Russian army are marked with red, and sections that it was unable to keep are marked with yellow.

Nathan Ruser / Twitter

Russian Conflict Intelligence Team investigators had to evacuate from Russia following the start of the war. Ruslan Leviev, the founder, explains the daily situation on the frontline on the YouTube channel of the CIT.

March 11 issue: Ruslan Leviev explains why the war may drag on for a long time.

What do investigators, who monitor the Russian invasion of Ukraine, agree on?

  • The command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces believes that it had successfully held back the initial advance of the Russian Army and sees the way to victory. The Russian army is losing initiative near Kyiv and Kharkiv. This is confirmed by the frontline reports, journalistsʼ stories, and open data.
  • The Russian army is struggling to organize regrouping of their forces and attempts to improve supplies chain to the front units. It withdraws battalion tactical groups defeated by the Ukrainian Army from the frontline.
  • Apparently, the Russian army is demoralized. Russian leadership is trying to reverse this situation by trying to engage Belarus in active warfare, seize Mariupol, and surround the part of Ukrainian Army on Donbas.

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