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(CNN)   Day 168 of WW3: Whoa. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says annexed Crimea must be freed to end the war with Russia. This is important - a major policy escalation by Ukraine. RTFA for the context. It's your Wednesday Ukraine war discussion   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: News, Ukraine, Supplies of Russian oil, Russia, Ukrainian operatorUkrtransnafta, Russian oil firm Transneft, Ukrainian territory, Heavy rocket fire, bloody invasion of Ukraine  
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1889 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 10 Aug 2022 at 8:00 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-10 6:18:51 AM  
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2022-08-10 6:21:31 AM  
Well there's no welfare check-in portion this week. Regulars, you know the drill. For those of you new to the Ukrainian War threads or who are only able to check them occasionally, here's my post summarizing the WW3 threads for July 30 to August 5. Russian troops hiding in the ZNPP seem to be doing the nuclear version of stripping the copper from a house and turning it into a krokodil shack. Plus even more war crimes. Shocking, I know. At least Sweden and Finland's NATO applications are moving along nicely.

Oneiros should be around to post the most up-to-date list of aid links, but here's the list from yesterday's thread which should be mostly fresh until he is. Older summaries along with an archive of threads can be found here in a spreadsheet being maintained by notmyjab if you need to catch up on that. Specific posts are under the "articles" tab.

As always, let me know if there's anything more to include that I missed and help me keep an eye out over the upcoming week for key events.
 
2022-08-10 6:24:06 AM  
Number of injured rises after explosions at Russian air base in Crimea
From CNN's Tim Lister and Oleksandra Ochman

dynaimage.cdn.cnn.comView Full Size
Smoke rises after explosions were heard from the direction of a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea on August 9. (Str/Reuters)

The number of people injured by massive explosions at the Novofedorivka air base in Crimea has risen to 13, according to the Crimean Health Ministry.
One person was killed by the explosions, which took place Tuesday.
The detonations also caused damage in a nearby town, with windows blown out. High-rise buildings lost power, while shops and a cultural center were damaged, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
Russia invaded and subsequently annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
The explosions: On Tuesday, Russian state media RIA Novosti initially reported the blasts had been caused by detonated aviation ammunition "on the territory of the airfield 'Saki'" near Novofedorivka.
Ukraine has not officially said its forces were responsible for the explosions. But an adviser to the Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, said Wednesday that satellite images of the airfield hours before the attack showed there were more than 30 aircraft and helicopters there.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian armed forces added nine aircraft to the tally of Russian military hardware they say has been destroyed.
Zelensky on Crimea: On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war "began with Crimea and must end with Crimea -- its liberation."

"Today it is impossible to say when this will happen. But we are constantly adding the necessary components to the formula for the liberation of Crimea," he said.
 
2022-08-10 6:26:39 AM  
This is big.  It prevents Russia from simply annexing new territory, because the previous incursion is on the table for fighting over.  And Crimea is a very juicy target.  Lots of high value sinkables.

Russia has already lost, but it could get a lot worse for them if they try to keep it up.
 
2022-08-10 6:44:54 AM  
Putin delenda est
 
2022-08-10 6:48:58 AM  
So, was there any confirmation about that ruscist plane that might have brought in some leadership targets to the base beforehand? I mean them losing cargo is good, but losing more generals? That's a better result!
 
2022-08-10 6:51:19 AM  

Public Call Box: So, was there any confirmation about that ruscist plane that might have brought in some leadership targets to the base beforehand? I mean them losing cargo is good, but losing more generals? That's a better result!


Cargo cargo is good, cargo 200 is better.
 
2022-08-10 6:51:20 AM  
.

Siete!

Ive got a two fer for you after i come inside.

Did like a one month update, plus air power fun.
 
2022-08-10 6:52:59 AM  

bertor_vidas: Public Call Box: So, was there any confirmation about that ruscist plane that might have brought in some leadership targets to the base beforehand? I mean them losing cargo is good, but losing more generals? That's a better result!

Cargo cargo is good, cargo 200 is better.


More cargo for the cargo cult!

I've got 200!

Can anybody give me a 300!

You there sir! Raise your hand...[oh]
 
2022-08-10 7:02:19 AM  
Now we have to see if UA can keep going. Another big hit would really help push Criminals out of Kherson.

The criminals response was to randomly fire rocket at civilian buildings.
 
2022-08-10 7:21:07 AM  
Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?
 
2022-08-10 7:29:50 AM  

HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?


Ineptitude. Russia and the West have very different doctrines regarding armor.
 
2022-08-10 7:30:30 AM  
I mean it's normal for Russia, but it's considered to be very poor practice by modern standards.
 
2022-08-10 7:38:07 AM  

HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?


2000 tanks destroyed. Criminals can not move 4 or 5 tanks together. Driving through open fields is the criminals being stupid.
 
2022-08-10 7:42:22 AM  
Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.
 
2022-08-10 7:53:57 AM  

HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?


Normally I'd say it depends on the scale of what we're looking at. Small squad/platoon size actions or reconnaissance? Not necessarily unusual, but not good practice. Given that we're talking about the Russians, the amount we've seen it, and the uptick coinciding with more green troops and increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time), I think we can assume it is the ragged elements of torn up units tying to comply with orders to do something.

We've had multiple reports of units that should've had 100 guys down to a dozen but being ordered to attack. I think that's what this looks like sometimes.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-10 7:54:33 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.


sex robot ballistic missiles are a new threat.
 
2022-08-10 7:55:46 AM  

Medic Zero: HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?

Normally I'd say it depends on the scale of what we're looking at. Small squad/platoon size actions or reconnaissance? Not necessarily unusual, but not good practice. Given that we're talking about the Russians, the amount we've seen it, and the uptick coinciding with more green troops and increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time), I think we can assume it is the ragged elements of torn up units tying to comply with orders to do something.

We've had multiple reports of units that should've had 100 guys down to a dozen but being ordered to attack. I think that's what this looks like sometimes.

[Fark user image 598x439]


The really stupid thing is that the Russian excuse of "accident" is just as equally plausible.
 
2022-08-10 7:56:25 AM  

KangTheMad: Tr0mBoNe: Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.

sex robot ballistic missiles are a new threat.


Threat?
 
2022-08-10 8:02:09 AM  

BadCosmonaut: HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?

2000 tanks destroyed. Criminals can not move 4 or 5 tanks together. Driving through open fields is the criminals being stupid.


Given all the reports of stuck turrets, and stolen comms gear, you talking about having trouble moving a platoon of tanks together reminded me of early WW2 tanks that lacked radios and would struggle with the same thing. Signaling with flags out of the turret, or stopping and getting out and walking over to the other tanks is time consuming, dangerous, sometimes impossible and massively slows the advance, and usually leads to everyone splitting up anyway.

But the Russians have done it to themselves this time, they probably sold the radios to the Ukrainians!

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2022-08-10 8:02:16 AM  
When can they knock that bridge out? Hopefully it's chock full of fleeing Russians when it explodes.
 
2022-08-10 8:03:22 AM  

KangTheMad: Tr0mBoNe: Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.

sex robot ballistic missiles are a new threat.


PAIGE! NO.
 
2022-08-10 8:03:43 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: KangTheMad: Tr0mBoNe: Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.

sex robot ballistic missiles are a new threat.

Threat?


Paige no!
 
2022-08-10 8:03:51 AM  
The orcs lost 9 planes in the last day? That one has to hurt.
 
2022-08-10 8:04:02 AM  
Good on them. Russia doesn't deserve things like land, ports or food. Let them eat snow.
 
2022-08-10 8:04:35 AM  
I win.
 
2022-08-10 8:05:22 AM  

KangTheMad: Medic Zero: HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?

Normally I'd say it depends on the scale of what we're looking at. Small squad/platoon size actions or reconnaissance? Not necessarily unusual, but not good practice. Given that we're talking about the Russians, the amount we've seen it, and the uptick coinciding with more green troops and increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time), I think we can assume it is the ragged elements of torn up units tying to comply with orders to do something.

We've had multiple reports of units that should've had 100 guys down to a dozen but being ordered to attack. I think that's what this looks like sometimes.

[Fark user image 598x439]

The really stupid thing is that the Russian excuse of "accident" is just as equally plausible.


I made this when Russia's flagship became a fish habitat, but it still applies:
Fark user imageView Full Size

They have the unenviable position of either admitting Ukraine is kicking their ass, or admitting they are too incompetent to wage war.
 
2022-08-10 8:05:45 AM  
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war "began with Crimea and must end with Crimea -- its liberation."

That's what I'm talking about! That's exactly and precisely what the goal should be.
 
2022-08-10 8:06:30 AM  

HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?


Normal for Russia. Everyone else does the exact opposite for the exact reasons demonstrated.
 
2022-08-10 8:06:31 AM  
Crimea too?This could take an extra week to accomplish I'm told
 
2022-08-10 8:07:15 AM  

KangTheMad: Tr0mBoNe: Rumors the US helped finish off the development of the domestically produced SRBM Ukraine has been working on for the past 3 years. Huge if true.

sex robot ballistic missiles are a new threat.


Steely Dan 3000
 
2022-08-10 8:08:12 AM  

Private_Citizen: KangTheMad: Medic Zero: HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?

Normally I'd say it depends on the scale of what we're looking at. Small squad/platoon size actions or reconnaissance? Not necessarily unusual, but not good practice. Given that we're talking about the Russians, the amount we've seen it, and the uptick coinciding with more green troops and increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time), I think we can assume it is the ragged elements of torn up units tying to comply with orders to do something.

We've had multiple reports of units that should've had 100 guys down to a dozen but being ordered to attack. I think that's what this looks like sometimes.

[Fark user image 598x439]

The really stupid thing is that the Russian excuse of "accident" is just as equally plausible.

I made this when Russia's flagship became a fish habitat, but it still applies:
[Fark user image image 500x756]
They have the unenviable position of either admitting Ukraine is kicking their ass, or admitting they are too incompetent to wage war.


Ah see but there's always room for both.
 
2022-08-10 8:08:20 AM  

Private_Citizen: They have the unenviable position of either admitting Ukraine is kicking their ass, or admitting they are too incompetent to wage war


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-10 8:08:27 AM  
+9 planes, very nice. I wonder if that includes any of the ones destroyed on the ground at the airbase in Crimea, Someone estimated 40 planes destroyed there so maybe more coming after confirmation? Those are going to count in the total even though not destroyed in flight I should think.
 
2022-08-10 8:08:55 AM  

Medic Zero: HugeMistake: Question (again) for the smart people here. A lot of the videos I've seen of Russian armor being hit shows tanks and other vehicles moving around the countryside alone, or in small groups of two or three. Is that normal, or another example of Russian tactical ineptitude?

Normally I'd say it depends on the scale of what we're looking at. Small squad/platoon size actions or reconnaissance? Not necessarily unusual, but not good practice. Given that we're talking about the Russians, the amount we've seen it, and the uptick coinciding with more green troops and increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time), I think we can assume it is the ragged elements of torn up units tying to comply with orders to do something.

We've had multiple reports of units that should've had 100 guys down to a dozen but being ordered to attack. I think that's what this looks like sometimes.

[Fark user image image 598x439]


It would be a crying shame if someone managed to import a bunch of methanol in vodka bottles and leave it lying around.
 
2022-08-10 8:09:12 AM  
c.tenor.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-10 8:09:38 AM  
Hell yes, liberate Crimea!
 
2022-08-10 8:10:47 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: This is big.  It prevents Russia from simply annexing new territory, because the previous incursion is on the table for fighting over.  And Crimea is a very juicy target.  Lots of high value sinkables.

Russia has already lost, but it could get a lot worse for them if they try to keep it up.


Zelensky is a smart man who doesn't make these statements without merit. He also has the best of the western intelligence being fed to him and probably knows more about Russia's military currently than Putin or many of Putin's generals. Odds are Zelensky knows he has Russian forces on their heels now that HIMARS took away Russia's artillery advantage, Zelensky would not make the Crimea proclamation if he did not already know that Russian forces defending it are in dire straits. In the next few moths the collapse of Russian forces will start snowballing and become even more obvious.
 
2022-08-10 8:11:06 AM  

Medic Zero: increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time)


That might explain why they're so flammable.

/Yeah, I know: pretty dark
 
2022-08-10 8:11:32 AM  
NEXTA
@nexta_tv
·
1h
Per Wästberg, co-founder of Amnesty International, resigns
He justified his decision by his disagreement with Amnesty International's scandalous report about the AFU.
Wästberg co-founded the Swedish office of the international human rights organization in 1964.
 
2022-08-10 8:12:42 AM  

HugeMistake: Medic Zero: increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time)

That might explain why they're so flammable.

/Yeah, I know: pretty dark


Well, it gets brighter when a few orcs light up.
 
2022-08-10 8:12:54 AM  
 
2022-08-10 8:13:04 AM  

HugeMistake: Medic Zero: increased reports of alcohol problems in the ranks (they're all drunk all the time)

That might explain why they're so flammable.

/Yeah, I know: pretty dark


Some subjects, dark is good.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-10 8:13:30 AM  

Flab: I win.


Paige *always* wins...
 
2022-08-10 8:14:58 AM  
I came across both of these vids this morning. They made me smile.


A very short clip of what appears to be a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M attack plane destroyed in Ukrainian strikes that targeted Russia's Saki Air Base in Crimea on August 9. pic.twitter.com/9JZJJZHl6y
- Status-6 (@Archer83Able) August 9, 2022

Incredible amounts of damage at Novofedorivka airbase in Crimea. pic.twitter.com/ymFh7HUxDX
- OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) August 9, 2022
 
2022-08-10 8:15:34 AM  
Anton Gerashchenko
@Gerashchenko_en
·
1h
Crimea. Probably the sea is cold...

pbs.twimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-10 8:17:39 AM  

Medic Zero: bertor_vidas: Public Call Box: So, was there any confirmation about that ruscist plane that might have brought in some leadership targets to the base beforehand? I mean them losing cargo is good, but losing more generals? That's a better result!

Cargo cargo is good, cargo 200 is better.

More cargo for the cargo cult!

I've got 200!

Can anybody give me a 300!

You there sir! Raise your hand...[oh]


Just give him one of these, there is a pile of spares over here.
 
2022-08-10 8:18:31 AM  
.

I'll start with a general overview of how the past month has gone, catching anyone up and setting the stage for the developments we are about to see as this war changes again. Everyone is going nuts trying to figure out what kind of thingy blew up the Russian navy's fighter base that covers Crimea. I'll mostly steer clear of which magic bullet gave the coup de gras to Russian air defenses in the region and look at the ramifications of that, and Ukraine shifting the news black out to the NE where the Russians were concerned about being encircled and the Ukrainians kept gaining ground. Surprises abound.

Image: It's amazing what is out there in Open Source Intelligence these days.

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A bit of a recap to set the stage; both sides have been slugging it out, with marginal changes to the frontline for about a month or more, the Ukrainians still grudgingly giving a small amount of land to immense artillery and sheer numbers of enemy troops in the northeast, while the Russians were slow to respond to slow but steady Ukrainian advances towards Kherson and Melitopol.

As predicted, Russian high tide lapped around the edges of Siversk and Bakhmut and never took Sloviansk or neared the vital crossroads of Kramatorsk. Like any other city within Russian artillery range, particularly in the northeast where Russian ammunition depots have been safe deeper in Russian territory, this metropolis still takes regular punitive Russian artillery attacks, despite the overall heavy drop in amount of artillery Russia can fire.

Russia has enough shells to constantly harrass pretty much every settlement within about 20 miles of the front line with old fashioned tube artillery. Their 6" gun isn't much different from its WW2 152mm cousin, and its dumb shells have a lot of duds and rounds that don't airburst and so cause less damage. So they no longer have enough ammo to grind their way forward other than at the occasional point in the line like Bakhmut, where they were still creeping forward until a day or so ago.

When the Ukrainians finally rang Pavlovs bell it was by severely weakening the bridges over the Dnipro around Kherson. The Russian rail troops can fairly quickly repair some kinds of damage and so had been keeping an insufficient, but palpable flow of supplies still through all the other breaks in the rail lines Ukrainian artillery, partisans, and special forces were constantly cutting between Russia and Crimea, the Kherson front, Melitopol, and to a lesser degree the line that runs near Kharkiv from northern Russia towards all their fronts in the NE, Donetsk, and Luhansk.

From my perspective as an amateur historian, I suspect that political leadership (Putin) is directing military operations and not responding to the realities of the situation in a timely manner. Much of the current Russian fad for executing the same dumb frontal attacks over and over again, sickening the Ukrainians with their foolish loss of lives, is Russian military doctrine (such as it is) and lack of officers, but simply Putin insisting that places on the map be taken, no matter how unable the units in the field might be of pulling that off, for whatever reason. There's a bunch of other mafia/warlord problems in the army too, and friction, but the very top is part of the problem too.


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Once it finally becomes concerning how little supplies is flowing over the compromised bridges and inadequate ferries subject to partisan rockets from the shore, somebody in command lets the railroad troops do their thing and all of the sudden a whole bunch of troops are in motion. First they shift a bunch of troops out of around Melitopol and Crimea into Kherson oblast to stem the Ukrainian advance there, but only succeed in slowing it.
Then they start stripping troops out of their stated primary objective for the war right now, securing the rest of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, one of which there's a bunch more they'd need to take, and they need to take Kramatorsk, which they can't do, but wouldn't admit until Ukraine forced them to.

Ukraine takes advantage of the momentary weakness north of Melitopol to push closer to Berdyansk. A nice spot, positioned to jump off towards either city. Somewhere nearby a polygot force of armored vehicles from all over the world, manned by determined people eager to liberate their homes, hardened by months of seeing the barbarity of their enemy and newly trained and armed by a world at their backs stand ready for the best moment to strike.

Russia's decent quality railroad troops manage over a fairly short period of time to not only reinforce Kherson oblast with quite a few Battalion Tactical Groups (maps and numbers follow), and reinforced the Melitopol area to slow Ukrainian advance back to a crawl there, and packed a big reserve in between the two, ostensibly able to respond in either direction. Assuming the bridges are up. A big assumption. I see them as added to the pot. I would've kept them closer to Rostov.

If you pop this map out all the way and up to a good resolution for you, you will see our good man on Twitter, Def Mon has collated data and given us a very accurate snap shot of the dispositions of Russian forces. He's usually got an interactive map where you can click on the units and sometimes there's some info there too.
Between his map and other sources, we're now sure that Russia has shifted at least 60% of its combat power in Ukraine to the south to counter Ukraine's steady advances threatening the supply lines to Crimea and threatening cutting off everything west of Berdyansk. Previously, in line with Russia's stated goals, the bulk of their forces were arrayed against the eastern and southern edges of the cauldron in the NE around Kramatorsk and they were sending their reinforcements there, to the north of Kramatorsk attempting to mass for an attack there, and all around Kharkhiv.

The Ukrainian successes in the south put an end to all that. First the Russians gave up on attacking towards Kramatorsk from the north. Later they'd actually pull back from here. We'll get to that. Reports continued to come in that they couldn't muster enough personnel to fill out the new units and the units they were "reconstituting" that had been shattered in earlier fighting, in order to have these units to press attacks at Kharkiv and Sloviansk.

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Sloviansk is hiding under the text box north of Kramatorsk, might take some adjusting to get to a good resolution:

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Everyone has been wondering where the hammer will fall. Somewhere out there are some new Ukrainian formations, and some seasoned rebuilt ones. Everyone knows a big Ukrainian attack is coming somewhere, but it could be anywhere on what, about 1,500 kilometers of front line?

Kherson seemed like a good bet when it was weakly defended. Now that the Russians rushed half their army to the south, the smart move would be just to starve those fools out by repeatedly cutting the bridges and knocking out the ferries.

Melitopol still looks somewhat promising, but like the rest of the south, the Russians have just moved a bunch more troops into here, and may be able to move some of the large reserve they now have positioned between the two southern fronts, behind the big, wide bend in the Dnipro river that dominates the center of the country.
Ukraine has dramatically taken the initiative in the air over the past few days in the southwest. With long range artillery of a couple of different stripes (various special 155mm shells and HIMARS rockets) paving the way for Ukrainian planes to take to the offensive by knocking out all the radar and missile tank batteries the Russians had stationed around the region ostensibly providing air defense along with the fighter squadrons of the Black Sea Fleets 43rd regiment stationed at the same airfield that saw Churchill and FDR fly into for the Yalta conference in 1944.

I'll come back to that, for now it's a segue to a bit more discussion about the overall situation. So we've got the dumb Russians crammed so many troops into the pocket at Kherson that the Ukrainian army can't bite it off and chew it, so they've got to wait for them to run out of ammo, which is coming, because they can't supply enough across the Dnipro river in the face of modern artillery.

At Melitopol the Russians may well have temporarily achieved near stalemate. I won't be surprised if the Ukrainians keep slowly grinding forward here, and I still think this may be the best place to eventually attack, but the Ukrainians are waiting for all the fruit to be ripe, and husbanding the lives of their soldiers.

The elbow of the line bending from east of Zaps and Melitopol up into Donetsk and Luhansk remains quiet. I think that advancing from this area is militarily awkward for Russia so it's been static for months. The Ukrainians made a few small gains in this area recently, only notable though because any movement of the lines through here is unusual. Likely just a local commander taking advantage of a situation to push the Russians back some. Eventually Ukraine might advance through here, but I think that is too big of a bite before cutting off Kherson/Crimea and everything west of Melitopol or Berdyansnk, so I don't expect a Ukrainian offensive through here soon.

Which brings us back around to the northeast. I have to write a long thing on Kharkiv someday, but for the moment let's say that after the Russian withdrawal from Kyiv, Ukraine pressed their advantage and tried to throw the Russians across the border here and to bring the critical Russian rail line into their conventional artilleries range. They were only partially successful; I think because Putin freaked out about Ukrainian forces potentially crossing into Russia and how bad that would look and go over with his people so he ordered a LOT of reinforcements into here.

Most of them weren't very good and a lot of them had already been badly chewed up, so they took heavy losses, but they managed to keep Ukraine from forcing all the Russian troops north of Kharkiv over the border and eventually pushed the Ukrainians back a bit more onto the suburbs, forcing Ukrainian artillery out of range of the rail line. There's more interregnum, but let's just say that it was back and forth for now.
Several analysts have been concerned about Russian troops massing north of Kharkiv for some time. Eventually I noticed they were massing quite a lot of troops also around the south and east of it as well, and was starting to get concerned that the outer edges of Kharkiv were about to become a battleground again.
Ukrainian successes in the south sucked the last of the winds out of the Russian army's sails in the northeast though. Someone either convinced Putin to listen to reason and refocus their efforts away from futile attempts to take Kharkiv, Sloviansk, and even Siversk. Of course, where and how they redirected their efforts were mostly foolish, but it has reduced attacks on Siversk to weak "demonstrations", removed any threat north of Sloviansk, and likely doomed any chances of encircling Bakhmut.

Most anywhere along the eastern frontline a Ukrainian attack still does face a lot of defenders, with a LOT of artillery, and in many places, fortifications the Russians have been building for eight years.

Which leaves Izyium.

I don't know if anyone had Izyium on their bingo card. I hadn't heard or noticed a murmur of real action around here for months or so. There was heavy fighting here a while back, but the line largely stabilized after the Russians finally took the city. Then yesterday, Russian patriotic mil-blogger guy says that the Russians are worried about being surrounded there, and aren't having any luck staving that off with counter-attacks!
Now today, Ukraine throws their media black-out over the region like they are in the habit of doing when the Ukrainians are successfully advancing. The Ukrainians have clearly made plans, and are in the process of executing them, but a good commander always sits on their reserve and if things are developing right, you wait for the moment to present itself. It might not be in the ideal spot if circumstances were different, but if the enemy say pulls most of his troops north of Kramatorsk and south of Kharkiv out, and only partially replaces them with green, ill-equipped, newly-formed units of second class troops, and your enemy has stuffed the other fronts with so many targets you can't make your way through to your objective, then go for the weak spot. I think that is what we are seeing. Or rather, now not seeing with the news blackout. Translations of Russians complaining about the poor performance of their own troops may be most of what we have to go by for a few days or longer while Ukraine maybe invests Izyium, panics and routs the understrength green units, and likely captures a bunch of them and the city. And perhaps beyond. I'm sure they'd love to clear all the way to the border and get within reach of Russian rail lines feeding everything south of Kharkiv.

Recently some military minded folks online have been saying that ideally, Ukraine would be attacking in two directions at once, for the most success. They're right of course. The Russians will struggle and likely fail to contain one offensive. Two at once is likely to be a disaster of the highest order (think Napoleons retreat from Moscow) should Ukraine manage to muster to forces to undertake two offensives at once.

That last bit is the rub. They are still training and seasoning troops and likely still will be for another month or two or more. So I was skeptical of Ukraine being able to push in two places at once quite yet. I think they found a way to do it though. They can commit their ground forces somewhere, possibly Izyium, maybe somewhere else, while at the same time, their burgeoning air offensive against the southwestern fronts is going to be dramatic and combined with all the units being trapped in the double boiler by artillery may have the same effect.

The Russians are wavering. We're seeing larger groups of soldiers surrendering the past few days, military families that have settled in Crimea for the past 8 years are fleeing back to Russia in a giant traffic jam over the only remaining way out, and everyone in Crimea and Kherson knows they are now trapped by the Ukrainian military and it is only their largesse that is letting those smart enough and able to flee for the moment.
Green, ill-equipped, understrength units have taken the place of the strong groupings of Russian forces now on the defensive all across the line in the northeast, and even the large Russian reserve is in a position to be trapped at any minute.

I haven't had a chance to proof read all that, apologies for any confusion I'll hopefully clear up later tonight.
Recently some military minded folks online have been saying that ideally, Ukraine would be attacking in two directions at once, for the most success. They're right of course. The Russians will struggle and likely fail to contain one offensive. Two at once is likely to be a disaster of the highest order (think Napoleons retreat from Moscow) should Ukraine manage to muster to forces to undertake two offensives at once.

That last bit is the rub. They are still training and seasoning troops and likely still will be for another month or two or more. So I was skeptical of Ukraine being able to push in two places at once quite yet. I think they found a way to do it though. They can commit their ground forces somewhere, possibly Izyium, maybe somewhere else, while at the same time, their burgeoning air offensive against the southwestern fronts is going to be dramatic and combined with all the units being trapped in the double boiler by artillery may have the same effect.

The Russians are wavering. We're seeing larger groups of soldiers surrendering the past few days, military families that have settled in Crimea for the past 8 years are fleeing back to Russia in a giant traffic jam over the only remaining way out, and everyone in Crimea and Kherson knows they are now trapped by the Ukrainian military and it is only their largesse that is letting those smart enough and able to flee for the moment.

Green, ill-equipped, understrength units have taken the place of the strong groupings of Russian forces now on the defensive all across the line in the northeast, and even the large Russian reserve is in a position to be trapped at any minute.


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,

That could use a bit more editing, but I've got an appointment at the gym in 26 minutes, hopefully it's clear enough.

I'll actually have another fun one for you here in a minute, a bit on Saki air base.

Slava Ukraini!


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2022-08-10 8:18:32 AM  
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2022-08-10 8:18:39 AM  

Harlee: [Fark user image image 850x850]
[Fark user image image 850x307]


9 planes? That the airport they struck?
 
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