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Eastern flank stronger than before Russian invasion: Poland’s NATO ambassador

NATO intelligence is constantly gathering information about what is happening in Ukraine and will act accordingly if the time arrives, Tomasz Szatkowski, Poland’s ambassador to NATO, told the PAP news agency.

“The eastern flank is stronger today than it was before Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. This is a concrete signal for Russia,” Mr Szatkowski said.

“It is also interesting to note that the initial operations of Russia’s airborne assault units ended in failure. This allows us to recognise that helicopters have very difficult tasks to perform on the modern battlefield, especially those operating close to enemy lines. Force landings are very risky. We also see that some of the striking tasks of helicopters are being taken over by drones.”

Images and reports from the front line have shown an increasing number of drones – civilian and military – being used by the Ukrainian military. These devices, which are often loaded with incendiary weapons, offer a safe and cost effective method to fight the Russian troops.

“The role of drones in guiding artillery on target cannot be underestimated either. The effectiveness of artillery, which is used by both sides, is being confirmed. There is an ongoing discussion on the role of tanks. Very interestingly, Ukrainian forces continue to conduct air operations against Russian air forces.”

NATO has enforced its presence on the eastern border of the European Union, in countries including Poland, Finland and Slovakia, but has so far declined sending troops into Ukraine.

Ukraine is not a NATO member, despite attempts to join over the previous decade.

Tuesday marks the 20th day since the Russian attack on Ukraine.

These are the indicative estimates of Russia's losses as of March 15, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 15, 2022

Sources have quoted the Ukrainian Armed Forces as saying that over 13,500 Russian troops have died in the conflict. Over 2.8 million people have already left Ukraine, many finding refuge in Poland.

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