Remember when we’ll be sitting here talking, months down the line, about Ukraine “shaping the battlefield” and dreaming of a future counterattack? We were never short of topics to discuss, but had breathing room to explore topics in greater depth. But I like it better!
Mark Sumner tracked regional changes this morning, and all I can add to that is “Ukraine may have moved further.” This is a great visual representation:
The animation is amazing. And as @War_Mapper notes, this is a conservative take. He has more than 20 settlements that have been rumored, but he is awaiting confirmation. Meanwhile, Kherson wants in on the action:
This is not a random settlement (although it is a small one) – it was a major Russian defensive position. Here’s a dramatic video of the rescue, from an American gunner:
Also check out Part II And Part III. There is dramatic footage of him firing anti-tank rockets at Russian positions from his moving vehicle as we see return fire land around his vehicle. This is legitimately amazing.
There are rumors (From the Russian Telegram) that the defenders of this sector, the 20th Motorized Rifle Division, had fled their positions and were attempting to cross the Dnieper to return home. Hope it’s true! But so far zero confirmation.
Moving on to Izyum, it’s … incomprehensible:
Ukrainian forces are within 5-10 km of Russia’s most important logistical hub, serving the entire North-Eastern Front and Izyum in particular, and yet Russian commanders in Izyum have strategically placed and sent troops to die in an irrelevant, strategically pointless, futile attack (which is now back in Ukrainian hands).
In other words, some idiot thinks that retaking Dovenke is more important than their strategically critical supply center at Kupyansk.
Yes, we are lucky that Russian troops are this dumb, but how is this possible? Well, Russia clearly forbids private initiative. Very dangerous, the idea of overthrowing the tsar may enter one’s mind, in this case, Vladimir Putin. Some local commanders have therefore been ordered to march south towards Slovinsk, and will continue to do so until further notice. Except that his superiors are around Kupyansk and have either fled or are dead. So he would continue to spend men, supplies and ammunition on attacks with zero chance of success, just because he was told last. It boggles the mind!
I don’t even understand these daily attacks! Why not big men and weapons, plan to take the next objective, train for that objective, then attack in force — you know, like the Ukraine is doing right now? Mark and I are breaking the record on this one: Russia’s inability to advance with any kind of mass doomed them from the first week of the war. But it’s amazing that we’re still seeing this happening seven months on, and that Russia is still trying to advance in places like south of Izum despite a complete lack of strategic reason to do so. Even with Ukraine breathing down Izyum’s neck from the north, supply routes are about to be cut off, and this stupid still Push south. Unbelievable!
After the war I want to write a whole book on Dovenke. It’s such a great story, and “Russia thinks it’s more important than Kupyansk” might be the best part of it.
The image is not sensitive, feel free to click on it. I mentioned that NATO units go on the offensive with three days of supplies. People asked if Ukraine could overlap entities. That’s what’s happening here. Armor units move forward while their comrades chill on the side of the road, resting while they wait for trucks of fuel, food, and ammo to arrive.
Pay particular attention to the lack of cover. These people are not afraid of Russian aircraft or artillery. They have outrun the Russian artillery positions in their blitzkrieg, and can rest in the open. The Russian Air Force has been incredibly AWOL throughout the war.
It was geolocated here, on the road Shevchenkov (now in Ukrainian hands), pointing east, trying to escape the Ukrainian advance. It was reportedly a Russian VDV unit – the “elite” air forces that have literally spent the entire war being sneezed at. Some analysts have argued that they grossly misused the war – serving as rote infantry as opposed to shock troops. There is some merit to the argument, but remember that they were used as targets at Hostomel airfield near Kyiv, early in the war, and were killed there as well. So basically, it looks like they aren’t what they were cracked up to be.
These are likely salvageable. Ukraine is getting itself a ton of gear. Yesterday, she found herself Six new tanks, 12 armored personnel carriers, three anti-aircraft guns, five artillery pieces, and some other random stuff like trucks. today, You can add 16 armored infantry vehicles, five artillery pieces, and a group of various trucks, anti-aircraft guns, etc.
We’re also seeing a lot of confirmed Russian equipment losses, thought better to get them. So the best case scenario is that the Ukraine takes Kupyansk, then forces the Russian Izyum garrison to surrender. This could be worth dozens, if not hundreds, of new pieces of weaponry for Ukraine’s armed forces, not to mention saving hundreds or thousands of lives (on both sides).
Yes, both ways. I am tired to death. I prefer videos like this:
The best position for a POW Everyone Why should the involved Russians or Donbas Ukrainians die in Izyum or Kupiansk or anywhere, really? It is up to Ukraine to treat these POWs well enough to spread the word that it is safe to surrender. Besides, given how things are going, Ukraine could be in a position to push into Russian-occupied Donbas before long, and you certainly don’t want that population to resist. Imagine the Donbass cannon fodder calling his loved ones back home and saying “The Russians lied to us, we have nothing to fear from Ukraine!”
We don’t want these Donbas boys, rebelling against their commander, deciding they need to defend their homes: (video captioned)
These are future allies. They’ve seen how much better Ukrainians live on the other side of their border, they’ve seen their Russian commanders rob their homes, and they’ve seen how brutally Russia treats them.
Seriously, why would any of them want to die for a war they care so little about? Putin can kill himself if he cares enough. This translation of a Russian Telegram post shows just how thick those poor saps have it. Let’s win them over, let’s all have one big fight over Donbass.
This is the “Terminator” vehicle that Russia introduced to the war with great fanfare. Russian Telegram and Twitter responded in orgasmic joy. But … yeah, whatever. The name was more intimidating than anything else. And now Ukraine has one of its own.
This is the MLRS M270 inch Balaklia. If Ukraine is running these things in a town they took yesterdayin the daylight, that means 1) the front lines are well ahead of here, and 2) there is no Russian air presence. These are too valuable for the risk, so Ukraine doesn’t feel it’s risky.
Also note the lack of OPSEC demands from Ukraine. In Kherson, it was OPSEC OPSEC OPSEC. “Don’t look at the elephant!” As a result, everyone turned their attention to Kherson trying to figure out what was going on. Apparently, including Russia, as Ukraine launched its surprise Kharkiv attack. Even that story claims the US and Ukraine have different views of the war-game and decided a single-front counterattack was the most sensible thing to do.
Ukraine pulled in the best wrong direction since … D-Day? Seriously, I bet we will learn that Ukraine has placed its arsenal in the Kherson region in wide view of Russian satellites and drones, while keeping them carefully hidden around Kharkiv.
Here are my favorite videos:
I’m not crying it’s allergies!
Ha ha but of course. This is just a redeployment! At least they’re not pretending it’s a “goodwill gesture”.
Ukraine has received hundreds of these M113s. Many countries had them, so presumably the United States decided to send them instead of the more modern Bradleys. The point is that they arrived months First. So again, props to the heroic regional defense forces that were at the forefront at the time, allowing Ukraine to properly train on the new equipment, including tactics to best use it. I can’t imagine the agony of sitting in the trenches under constant bombardment, but none of this would have been possible today if those lines had collapsed. Before these units were ready they had to be put into action immediately.
Ukraine picked a good time to launch a big win:
Nothing motivates donors to dig deeper than winning. Ukraine has proven that it can successfully use whatever it has got — even older generation items like M113s. Success breeds success, and there is no doubt now that Ukraine will get most of what it needs.