It’s always challenging to wade through the fog of war to find out what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine, especially when it comes to breaking news like Ukraine’s counteroffensive, and even more so when it’s in a theater — South Kherson in Ukraine – in which Ukraine has implemented. A tight lid on information.
As such, what is discussed below may be distorted or even inaccurate. The details will be sorted out in the coming days as the open source community pulls together its various sources of information to paint a more accurate picture. But for now, I’ll discuss what’s going on, to the best of the available information.
First, there is a simple question: Is there really a major attack taking place in Kherson? Ilya Ponomarenko, a defense writer for the Kyiv Independent, expressed some possible skepticism over the initial reports.
“Strategic” means that these are merely localized actions without broader strategic considerations. We’ve seen that happen many times, going back to March—we see activity, we think “counterattack!” Only to see minimal movement on the map. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that it is different, if for no other reason than Ukraine has said. Always loath to announce offensive actions, this one snapped loudly.
“Today we launched offensive operations in various directions, including in the Kherson region,” Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne said on August 29, citing Southern Command spokeswoman Natalya Hymenyuk. He confirmed the news in a briefing minutes later.
Anything short of a serious attack on Kherson would weaken Ukraine. Given the rest of the evidence, we can probably take these declarations at face value.
While Ukraine is loathe to announce liberation while the operation is underway, Ukraine is pressuring the entire line, allowing information to leak from a wider front.
Don’t worry about the exact location of the settlement names listed on the tweets above, it’s all rumor and assumption at this point, and none of those cities are big enough to be considered a major success. All that matters is that Ukraine is advancing in many places, even though Russian sources claim that they have already retaken the ground they lost. (I can pretty much believe that those agreements are being actively contested by both sides.)
I’ve seen rumors of advances along other parts of this front, including the northeastern tip of Russian-controlled territory, on the banks of the Dnipro River (top right on this map). Still, the telegram is being discussed and there is no evidence of anything other than perhaps leaks from other official sources. Remember, this is a very flat part of Ukraine, very exposed to artillery and air strikes. This is why Ukraine is systematically destroying Russian supply depots as well as supply routes. Once Russia runs out of artillery shells, the task becomes much different than what they are currently dealing with.
As such, pro-Russian Telegram sources claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced 10 kilometers at various points along the front, which would have made them very jealous given their glacial speed on the Donbass front. (Again, no real confirmation.)
Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov, who runs a daily YouTube update, claims that Ukraine has breached the “first line of defense” towards Kherson, but at least two more lines remain.
Ukrainian forces breached the first line of defense, with the 109th Regiment of the 1st Army Corps from the 8th Field Army abandoning their positions along with the Russian VDV that supported them. Ukrainian forces have taken these positions. It is expected to be confirmed. It was the result of Ukrainian artillery and aviation that caused the Russian forces to lose combat capability, or it was the result of an attack.
Oleg suggested waiting for official information.
When it comes to further advances, it is important to remember that the Russians have built 3 defense lines in the direction towards Kherson, although two had already been breached in the previous months. It is not possible to move quickly, we need to be patient.
THis 109th regiment—made up of Donbas recruits—was defeated after the Russians “Aristocracy”VDV airborne troops abandoned their positions. That’s a lot “Fog of War“Kind of Information and Nothing Iwill put money on But the VDV was eliminated in the battle of Kyiv, and thatSitting here after the March recovery. It would not be surprising that they lack the will to continue fighting, and Donbass cannon fodder is certainly not motivated to die so far from their homes.
I think something got lost in translation in that last paragraph, but the gist is that even though Ukraine has crossed the first lines of defense, there are more hurdles ahead for them. This Ukrainian soldier talks about the difficulties in his first wave attack
He talks about charging into an open field covered in mines, as Russian drones dropped grenades from above (including one that confused him), and artillery landed around them. He also says that there was a lack of coordination in their actions. If you can’t see the subtitles, expand the video completely.
Advisor to the President Alexey Arestovich has his own take on the backlash:
The UAF launched small counter-attacks in a southern direction, breaching the first line of Russian defense in several places and is currently attempting to push deeper into Russian-held territory.
Also, several bridges were hit by artillery and HIMARS (Antonovskij Bridge, Antonovskij Railway Bridge, Dar’javskij and Nova Kahovka Bridge). Later in the evening pontoon ferry with Russian military equipment. Two other pontoon bridges were destroyed or damaged. All Dnipro crossings are under Ukrainian fire control […]
Arestovich also noted the success of the Ukrainian aviation, which increased its activity after the destruction of Russian air-defense radars.
Interestingly, he calls it a “miniature counterattack.” Setting expectations? Of course, this reflects the Ukrainian strategy we’ve been talking about for months — lure the Russians in, cut them off, attack them, and then … actually, now we hope they decide. That they have to die on this piece of land far from their homes. stupid
The attack marked a turning point in the war:
The shift from tactical targets (supply depots, command and control, bridges, supply lines, etc.) to tactical targets (troops in the trenches) likely meant that they were outclassed as long-range targets, as the M777s and other Tube artillery could hit. Those appointments are equally effective and affordable. Perhaps the US It still has the old unmanned MLRS rockets to offer, as guided ones are very expensive and in short supply.
Nevertheless, guided artillery can be very effective against trenches, as this video, geospatial at Kherson’s airport, shows (sensitive pictures, and I’d suggest turning off the sound):
After dark, the Ukrainians moved back to hit the bridges connecting Russian forces in Kherson Oblast with their supply lines in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
In addition to Nova Kakhovka, there were reports and some images of collisions with Ukrainian barges that have partially replaced the lost access after Ukraine closed the Antonovsky Bridge.
I took a look at the NASA FIRMS satellite data, which is designed to track wildfires, but does a better job of tracking the Ukrainian front lines:
This was certainly the case with the concentration of fire on the three Ukrainian advances, near Tomina Balka, north of Kherson around Davidiv Bridge, and northeast of Kherson on the approach to Kriviy Rih. And definitely tracks him down with a concentration of fire.
Russia, which claims to have shot down more Ukrainian aircraft than Ukraine in its air force, had some of the highest casualty claims for the day: 560 Ukrainian soldiers, 26 tanks, 23 armored fighting vehicles, nine troop carriers, and two ships OK, sure.
Information may be difficult to obtain for some time, as Ukraine’s General Staff stated that “Everyone goes in the dark on posting any information, videos, photos regarding the Battle of Kherson. Operation safety is critical. ” I suspect we will hear more from the pro-Russian telegram from the Ukrainian side in the coming days and weeks.
This is what it looks like near the end of the HIMARS/MLRS strike acquisition: