On Tuesday, there were reports of at least two large explosions in occupied Crimea, beyond the range of Ukrainian artillery or of any HIMARS munitions known to be in Ukrainian hands. The main target this time appears to be an ammunition and equipment depot near a railway, and if that description sounds less important than previous strikes on warehouses and buildings, videos from the site suggest otherwise. Russia seems to have a lot of material, from ammunition to vehicles, sitting right next to the tracks at a site near the town of Zhankoy.
A second explosion appears to have taken out an electricity substation in the same area. The railway to the south of Crimea is electrified, so knocking out this electrical station could be a target to block trains across a large part of Crimea.
The remoteness of these explosions from the immediate area of Ukrainian control, like the previous strike in Crimea, immediately led to speculation about how Ukraine managed the blow. Sources linked to Russia initially attributed the explosion to a drone strike. Others jumped to the conclusion that Ukraine possessed long-range HIMARS rockets. About 200 kilometers from the nearest areas under firm control by Ukraine, the new explosion is twice the size of a previous explosion inside Russian territory that destroyed a Russian airport. Novofedorivka last week. It will still be in range of ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System), which can be fired from HIMARS, but despite widespread speculation, there is still no evidence that any of these missiles have been sent to Ukraine.
If this was a drone attack on Russian territory, the main signal it sends is simple: Russian air defenses are ****ed. Good luck to Vladimir Putin in his recently announced initiative to sell more Russian weapons systems if this is the level of protection they provide.
Action of the campaign
however, The New York Times A Ukrainian official cited one reason as saying that the Russian military and all Russians in the occupied territories should be even more fearful. According to the unnamed official, the blasts were carried out by “an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines.” Russia’s state news agency seems to agree, as they have now labeled the explosion an “act of sabotage”.
If Ukrainian military units are operating deep into Crimea, hitting Russian infrastructure, supply depots, and even bases…what does that really say about the territory under Russian control? Crimea was Russia’s main target in 2014, and Putin quickly annexed it after that previous invasion. But these attacks seem to indicate that not only is Russia unable to stop partisan attacks in areas like occupied Kherson, it is also unable to secure territory it has been claiming as part of Russia for the past eight years.
There is no way to look at it that is not bad for Russia.
For almost a month now, Ukraine has been engaged in a campaign to strike Russian supply depots, command centers and transportation hubs. They have engaged many different systems — HIMARS, drones, artillery, and even Ukraine’s miraculously still operational air force — to strike high-value targets in Russian territory.
These attacks have not only caused some very significant losses for Russia, viz Mostly an air wing, but they have also created loopholes and logistical issues that have slowed Russia’s progress in the Donbass and limited its ability to strike elsewhere. Russia has responded to Ukraine’s strategic actions by firing more missiles into civilian areas of Ukrainian cities, which has drastically increased the death, destruction and general suffering affecting the Ukrainian people. However, this does not appear to have changed Ukraine’s ongoing campaign to disrupt Russian operations.
It seems that wherever Russia tries to stack more than a few boxes of shells, or parks a few vehicles, Ukraine is capable of finding them. and destroying them. No matter how far they are in Russian occupied territory. Make that “Russian-occupied territory,” because Russia’s control over these territories looks a lot less solid than it did a few weeks ago.
Which is why, in the wake of recent explosions in the Crimean city of Simropol, Russians have decided it’s a great time to end their summer vacation. However, with that power station down, it is not clear how long they will wait for the train.
However, if any of them are trying to get out of the area using a car or bus, it also brings certain risks.
In the past few minutes, there have been reports of what appears to be another explosion or series of explosions. If true, it would be even deeper than an attack on Russian territory Zankhoi According to sources on Telegram, several explosions were heard from Russia Airport in Guardeyskoe, west of the city of Simferopol. Again, initial attacks report a drone as the source of the attack, but competing claims are likely within the hour.
It’s been more than two weeks since the last update of the Daily Kos Ukraine maps, and the biggest news is that most areas require a microscope to see the difference between that last take and current conditions. Russia has made some progress along the middle line Bakhmut and Siversk, and active fighting is going on east of both towns.
But the biggest thing in Ukraine right now is the unlikely capture of a specific town or village – it’s an attempt to deflect Russian efforts away from the battle line. By attacking a concentration of aircraft, equipment, ammo and commanders, Ukraine is costing Russia far more than it can hammer it on the line. And they are showing Russia that the idea of ”safe zones” is an illusion.
Every now and then in this conflict, I have a little “I didn’t even know they had those” moment when it comes to weapon systems. Here is one of the ones that work.
The DM22 HEAT “directional mine” looks like a small machine gun installation. It can be set up on the side of the road and hang a 40 meter thread of almost invisible fiber optic line waiting for something to pass by. When something hits that line, the “off route mine” fires a high explosive anti-tank shell. Look for a little puff of smoke on the left side of the road before this Russian truck stops.
Reinforcing the idea that these attacks are part of a larger plan, directed not only at stripping Russia of its resources, but at limiting its logistical options.