Insane in the Ukraine

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Thu Sep 08, 2022 1:43 pm

Blinken's in Ukraine again today, announcing the latest US support package (looks like just another resupply shipment). It also includes $1.2 billion in direct military support for other countries "at risk of future Russian Aggression".

First official Ukrainian statement on progress today as well:
Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov said the country had recaptured more than 700 sq km (270 sq miles) of its territory, offering the first official assessment of the operation. Ukrainian forces had advanced up to 50 kilometres (30 miles) behind Russian lines and recaptured more than 20 villages in the Kharkiv region, he said.

He also praised Bayraktars as pivotal to their northern operations. I wonder if they found away to make little hidden drone airstrips in forested areas? Use rivers and creeks to fly them in low towards targets? Hm. Either way, it's fascinating that Ukraine appears to have carved out a pocket of apparent air superiority so close to Russia.

At least part of this is due to Russian air defences and aircraft having been heavily transferred south to reinforce Kherson and possibly Crimea, but there's definitely more going on, as yesterday's video of a Bayraktar destroying anti-air systems with apparent impunity demonstrates.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Thu Sep 08, 2022 4:44 pm

I'll wait until to tonight to see if this is confirmed properly to get into any details or quotes, but an established online account belonging to a St. Petersburg regional councillor supposedly posted a letter signed by several such councilmembers, demanding that the Duma try and remove Putin for High Treason(!), stating the war is pointless and has put Russia in grave danger (they noticeably DON'T mention any atrocities committed by Russian forces).

Remember that Vlad was mayor of St. Petersburg (which is also his hometown) before he was President, so this would be an even deeper cut than it would appear at first.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 09, 2022 3:37 am

The crazy move in St. Petersburg to demand Putin be charged with Treason has been confirmed.
Municipal deputies for the Smolninskoye District in St. Petersburg plan to submit a petition to the State Duma (the Russian parliament) to charge Russian president Vladimir Putin with high treason for unleashing the war in Ukraine. Deputy Dmitry Palyuga announced the intention on Twitter.

According to Palyuga, “the majority of deputies in attendance supported the decision.” In conversation with The Insider, he specified that seven out of ten voted in favor of the initiative.

According to its sponsors, Putin’s actions since the beginning of the “special military operation” fall under Article 93 of the Russian Constitution, which stipulates for the president's impeachment based on charges of high treason or other serious crimes brought against them by the State Duma.

The president's decision to attack Ukraine is “detrimental to the security of Russia and its citizens”, the petition reads, because the Russian army is losing its fighting-fit units and its servicemen become disabled. The authors of the petition also point out that the withdrawal of foreign players from the Russian market and the “brain drain” accelerated by massive emigration are bound to leave a dent in “the Russian nation's economic wellbeing”. The deputies also underline that NATO is pushing its frontiers eastward, contrary to the announced goals of the special operation, while Ukraine is receiving state-of-the-art weapons.

“While the Russian president declared the demilitarization of Ukraine as one of his goals, we are witnessing the opposite happen. This is not to say that we stand in full support of the goals declared by President Putin, but even in his own terms, he is harming Russia's national security,” Palyuga explained to The Insider. “We want to let people know that there are deputies who are opposed to the current policy and who believe that Putin is harming Russia. We also want to let them know we are not afraid to speak out.”


Ukrainian forces have advanced another 10 km eastward from Kharkiv, a very visible dent in that front. They are now within 15kms of Kupyansk, Russia's main logistics hub in the occupied northeast. This is close enough for easy shelling distance from a variety of artillery and Russian targets in the town will be hit hard very shortly and if things go well, it's projected that Ukraine could be liberating the town in just 72 hours.

This is incredible.

I am a shameless propagandist.

But really, amazing work.

They also advanced on various fronts in Kherson by anywhere from two several-dozen kms. Among the ongoing Ukrainian airstrikes, HIMARS bombardments, etc. suppressing and disrupting the Russians in Khserson, local partisans also blew up a rail junction right as a Russian supply train was from Crimea was going through.

The Russians of course didn't even mention this, but Russian milbloggers are arguing if Russian forces withdrew in good order, or were "completely outplayed" and devastated by the Ukrainians. Of course we know the Ukrainians took a great number of prisoners (and apparently much captured equipment too - Balakliya was the site of some major Russian equipment storage), so I would say the latter. But watching the Russian argue about how big of a cock-up this was is nice. The breakdown in Russian communications (or "in the Russian information space", as the cool kids say), is very reminiscent of the frothy chaos and blame which circulated after the Russians' river crossing fiasco back in May.

One other interesting observation is that the Kremlin has the opportunity to massage their message even in situations like this, but only when they have enough advance warning - for example the Kherson counteroffensive is still not being treated as any sort of fiasco by many, because they have prepared excuses and lies. But when the Ukrainians catch the Russians with their pants down, Russian propaganda is completely unprepared to deal with any sudden changes, leaving the hysterics of milbloggers as the main domestic sources of information in those situations.

As if that wasn't enough, half of the Russian city of Belgorod (the main Russian origin point for supplies sent down to Kupyansk, Izyum, and other points east) was left without electricity after a Ukrainian attack on its central electricity distribution station.

Hee hee~
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 09, 2022 3:00 pm

So Russia has indirectly confirmed the higher casualty numbers being made by the Ukrainians, rather than any of the more conservative ones.

As noted below, this does not count proxy troops, press-ganged or otherwise, troops who've likely borne a disproportionate number of casualties.

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:16 pm

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 09, 2022 6:25 pm

Holy shit. A day and a half ago, I mentioned a Lieutenant Colonel captured by Ukraine. Welp.

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 09, 2022 6:30 pm


I love that one dinky Russian group clearly screaming south in a desperate panic to reinforce Kupyansk.

For reference, the northern yellow circle is Kupyansk, the logistics hub (huge rail junction between multiple rail lines) and the southern yellow circle is Izyum, with its large grouping of Russian forces (and equipment!), and which is now in danger of being encircled.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:40 am

lmao it's past midnight and there's no ISW update yet. This oughtta be entertaining when it finally drops.

(mainstream news is usually about a day behind, so nothing there yet obviously).

#EDIT: 3 am and no update. Huh. Pretty sure this is the latest ISW's ever been.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 10, 2022 3:22 am

Oh well, some amusements

Almost all the comments are "I thought that last photo was washing machines." xD

Oh, we know the Ukrainians won't settle for anything less than dat pure China Russia white

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Couple of choice quotes from Arestovych
"In the extreme case, Putin will declare total mobilisation... in this case, I will request to award him with Hero of Ukraine award, as there is no quicker way to destroy Russia".

[...]

"We have a huge problem... we have nowhere to keep all the POWs".
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 10, 2022 3:36 am

Breaking news, Kupyansk taken:

Absolutely fucking wild Russia’s supply and communications between Russia and their main northern Donbas grouping in Izyum has been severed.

Though the Russians were already in trouble in Izyum anyway. Of course now Ukraine has even more places to fire from.


That's in a day and a half, and doesn't even show Kupyansk or how much of the area around it the Ukrainians might hold now.

It's becoming clear that Russia had almost nothing in this sector and were hoping no one would notice past the weak frontline units (which IIRC, was largely naval infantry and Rosgvardia, i.e. National guard).

There's 10,000 Russians in Izyum, at least, on the verge of encirclement. The real question now is if they know and are preparing to fight or run, or if the ground troops are wondering where the senior officers went and why no one is returning their calls.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:07 am

The 200th day of the war, and milestone in more ways than just a number.

First things first; it's officially a rout.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast is routing Russian forces and collapsing Russia’s northern Donbas axis. Russian forces are not conducting a controlled withdrawal and are hurriedly fleeing southeastern Kharkiv Oblast to escape encirclement around Izyum. Russian forces have previously weakened the northern Donbas axis by redeploying units from this area to Southern Ukraine, complicating efforts to slow the Ukrainian advance or at minimum deploy a covering force for the retreat. Ukrainian gains are not confined to the Izyum area; Ukrainian forces reportedly captured Velikiy Burluk on September 10, which would place Ukrainian forces within 15 kilometers of the international border.[1] Ukrainian forces have penetrated Russian lines to a depth of up to 70 kilometers in some places and captured over 3,000 square kilometers of territory in the past five days since September 6 – more territory than Russian forces have captured in all their operations since April.

Russian forces could have tried to hold the eastern portion of Kupyansk, across the Sverski Donets river, as it's a defensible industrial zone, but most were seen fleeing east without any organization at all - like I said, we won't ever see a Russian Azovstal. This also gives the Ukrainians an uncontested crossing over that part of the river east of Kharkiv as well.

- Izyum is on the verge of falling, and may have already fallen. Russian war correspondents and milbloggers have reported facing "challenges" in evacuating from Izyum, confirming Ukrainian forces have at least partially surrounded the city already and Ukrainian soldiers are already putting up pics of them posing by signs outside the city. Some Russian sources are reporting the city has fallen or been abandoned already, but this may be overstatement due to panic. Regardless, Izyum would be the most significant Ukrainian win since the Battle of Kyiv in March.
Ukrainian forces reached the northern outskirts of Izyum on September 10 and will likely recapture the city within the next 48 hours if they have not already.[11] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian forces have not yet entered Izyum and largely reported that Russian forces are withdrawing from the city.[12] Russian sources reported that the Russian military deployed reinforcements to cover a withdrawal from Izyum to the left bank of the Oskil River.[13] Ukrainian forces’ northern advance has severed Russian forces’ most significant ground lines of communication (GLOCS) to Izyum. Russian forces must now rely on suboptimal paths to the south and southeast that run through difficult terrain and over the Siverskyi Donets and Oskil rivers to withdraw forces.

- Ukrainian forces are also attacking Russian forces in Lyschansk! The Russians no longer have complete control of even one Ukrainian Oblast (though obviously they still have most of Donetsk... for how long we don't know).

- Russian units on the easternmost front are still dashing themselves to pieces trying to assault the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut (the easternmost city currently still in Ukrainian hands), as they have for weeks and weeks now, with gains of only a few kilometres over that time. Considering the dire state of their defences elsewhere and possibly a collapse on multiple fronts, the reasoning behind continuing these incredibly wasteful and pointless attacks is weaker than it's ever been. I would say "imagine dying for this.", but it's basically just Wagner guys attacking there, so fuck them.

- Fighting in Kherson is continuing methodically, but Ukrainian forces pushed "tens of kilometres" in some advances. Russian forces continue to fight back down there and still have enough ammunition to carry on for the time being, but their supplies are being continuously blown up, resupply efforts over the Dnipro river have slowed to an absolute crawl, and as many as 25,000-35,000 Russian troops are in danger of being cut off in Kherson region, west of the Dnipro.

- Kremlin propagandists are directly contradicting each other on Russian TV (not, like, on-air fights, just each program is saying different things). The Kremlin itself has been DEAD silent. Main news today was Putin casting his vote online, on Russian election day. There were even fireworks in Moscow. Meanwhile, various opposition groups led calls to write-in "No war" on ballots today. ISW had a bit more info on the overall situation as well:
Prior to the withdrawal announcement, the Russian MoD released footage of Russian military convoys reportedly moving to reinforce the Kharkiv direction on September 9.[8] Many Russian outlets and milbloggers expressed hope that these reinforcements would stabilize the frontline and repel Ukrainian advances on Izyum despite the Russian MoD failing to address the unfolding situation days prior. Russian milbloggers would have likely accepted MoD’s announcement of a withdrawal like they previously did with the Russian retreat from the Snake Island and other tactical Russian losses if the Russian information space was not oversaturated with footage of Ukrainian successes. Such inconsistencies in messaging further support ISW’s assessment that the Russian MoD faces challenges in responding to unexpected developments within the established informational framework, which portrays Russian invasion of Ukraine as an easy and faultless operation.[9] Most importantly, such unaware information practices erode the Russian public’s trust in Russian MoD messaging and disrupt the Kremlin’s propaganda facade.


- Putin convened an emergency meeting with top Russian security and political officials on September 9. Oh to be a fly on the way at that one (assuming that fly can understand Russian). Downfall memes, anyone?

- Speaking of which, links are potentially forming between Russian generals trying to avoid becoming scapegoats, Russian veterans with PTSD, and disgruntled Russian "patriots". This coalition could potentially be the seed of a second Russian Civil War. Russian Telegram channels are certainly full of panic and blame for senior military and political officials, and Russian soldiers are absolutely questioning on a large scale why they should even bother fighting - we could be on the cusp of mass desertions or mutiny in the Russian army. (Best comment I saw in some of those Telegram screenshots: "These assholes are less honest than the Soviet Information Ministry in 1942")

- Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk puppet republic has reportedly fled. There are claims and counter-claims here, so grain of salt. Would be huge if true.

- I think Kadryov's brain sprung a leak.
Ramzan Kadyrov in his late night audio address on Telegram says that “10,000 will enter soon and we will reach Odesa”, while struggling to pronounce “Balakliia”, calling it and other Kharkiv settlements “interesting places”. Says he will be speaking to “Ministry of Defeat if they do not make conclusions soon”.
"Ministry of Defeat" is becoming a Russian (and possibly global) meme.

- Pickled Igor has gone back to colourfully losing his shit over Russian failures. He sardonically suggested transferring Belgorod Oblast of Russia to Ukraine "so that the authorities could say Russia is not being shelled anymore."

- The fucking Wagnerite scum know what's up. Positioning themselves for the coming conflict?

- The United Nations released a report detailing poor Russian treatment of Ukrainian POWs and detained civilians, it goes into some detail which I will avoid repeating ITT for now.

- The Ukrainian General Staff reported that "Russian forces are intensifying air patrols over Babenkivka Druha (22km northwest of the Kherson Oblast-Crimea western border) due to the increasing number of Russian deserters."

- The Ukrainian Military Intelligence agency (GUR) stated that "Russian military commanders are dissatisfied with new recruits operating in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast direction because most of them are 55 to 60 years of age."

- More recruitment comedy:
Russian federal subjects’ (regions) excessive recruitment advertisements for contract service and enlistment into volunteer detachments are igniting some criticism among local Russians and milbloggers. Khaborovsk Krai residents started a petition to send Khabarovsk Krai Governor Mikhail Degtyaryov to the frontlines in Ukraine after Degtyaryov stated that he would love to fight in Ukraine if he did not hold his office.


- Ukrainian forces "continued efforts to demoralize Russian forces and civilians in occupied Crimea."
Odesa Military Administration Spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk reported that television channels in occupied Crimea are broadcasting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s August 30 speech calling for the de-occupation of Crimea and warning local residents to stay away from Russian military facilities.[75] Ukrainian hackers previously hacked Crimean television channels and a sign on the Kerch Strait Bridge to show pro-Ukrainian messaging on August 20.[76]


Simple, clear thread which looks at overall numbers of forces Ukraine might still bring to bear (tl;dr, several US-sized DIVISIONS have not yet shown up) as well as touching on their ability to move quickly.


And, well...
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:13 am

I continue with shameless propaganda.

"Ukrainian woman freezes thinking the soldiers are Russian. Ukrainian soldier explains “it’s our guys coming”."
(try to ignore the cheesy music though, lol)






The dunking on people who had no faith in Ukraine is That Good Shit.
(the update is pharmaceutical-grade copium)


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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:54 am

Shit moves so fast, goddamn. Tentative reports that the Ukrainians have retaken Donetsk Airport (i.e. Donetsk City, the capital of the Donetsk puppet republic and which has been held by Russia since 2014), and that another large military formation is heading for the Black Sea coast, either to Mariupol or Melitopol, and then presumably to hook around and smash the east bank of the Dnipro. If that offensive goes a tenth as well as anything else, The Russians are simply done in Ukraine - the entire coastline will be back in Ukrainians hands and the Russians will almost certainly lose Crimea and likely abandon the puppet republics.

Ukrainian information ops are pushing reports (some exaggerated, some outright false - for now) across channels in the Donbas that Russian forces have fled to spark panic in collaborators and puppet administrators, so they flee and sow further panic and disorganization by doing so.

Something which a couple people pointed out is that during the Yugoslav Wars, once the Bosnian Serb uprising failed, actual Serbian troops immediately ceased all support, instead running to the Bosnia-Serbia border to forcibly disarm any Bosnian Serbs fleeing to Serbia, so as to forestall any armed uprisings or coup attempts. We may very well see the same of what remains of the actual Russian army here, as they flee to the border to ensure any former collaborators fleeing to Russia are unarmed, or perhaps even denying many of them entry. It will be all about protecting Vlad - if he can command enough loyal troops to still carry this out, and if they stop at the border (at this rate the Ukrainians will be in Vladivostok by Tuesday...).
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Büge » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:09 am

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 2:12 pm

Russians supposedly evacuating all of Kharkiv Oblast now. Hmmm, now why wou-

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That'll do it.

The Russians have not stopped daily shelling and missile strikes of Kharkiv at any point in the war so it would also be nice to see the end of that. If for no other reason than they're running low on Iskander missiles.

Not getting tired of these anytime soon.

I know the Ukrainians love overdubbing these with loud sentimental music, but I don't care.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 2:40 pm

SO MUCH COPE


Yeah well, fuck 'em.

Fuckin' orcs can't even run away without being nasty little fucks to the end, and the vatniks cheer for it.

Repairable power outages is the least grim news the days to weeks to come once the Ukrainians have a chance to look over cities and towns freed from the orcs. We know what'll be found. Anyone paying attention knows exactly what will be found, because it's been found in every liberated area to date.

With that always in the back of my mind, seeing the joy and relief of the liberated is going to keep me going, sustaining me through whatever darker news comes to light.

(watching vatnik brains shut down as they blubber for the centuries-overdue loss of their petty colonial "empire" don't hurt either)
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:28 pm

I like how everyone was tempering expectations of this counter-offensive and talking about slow methodical but tactical gains to eventually starve out the Russians but then the Russians were even shittier than expectations said they were so it turned into a fucking rout
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:34 pm

As good as things are going, my mind still goes to "what is Putin going to do" in the upcoming months.

I mean, is just slinking away and blaming American super soldier bullies REALLY an option for him? Do you think the propaganda can manage to get the average Russian brainwashed dipshit to believe that and not make him look weak and stupid?

I really don't mean to be a downer, and I'm ecstatic that the counter-offensive is going so well. But my mind just won't stop trying to fill whatever is in that gap. Putin is done, it's just a matter of time. I really do believe that. But what he does in the meantime, that gap between now and his fall, I don't know. I HOPE he just slinks away and then gets tossed out of a window or whatever. But the truth is this: we cannot assume rational acts from him. The invasion was irrational and stupid and brought tremendous harm to his own position and he did it anyway.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:27 pm

A loooot of things can happen domestically in Russia, we could see a coup, a civil war, Vlad's own personal window, or maybe he will simply retire on condition of being left alone, with enough cash and a large enough army of bodyguards to actually make that happen (as has been mentioned, his dacha is actually a ridiculously overbuilt fortress - which doesn't mean it can't be taken, but if no one inside it sells him out, it'll be a huge pain in the ass to go in and get him).

A lot depends on how much loyalty he still commands. One of the more obvious scenarios is the Slobodan Milosevic one I mentioned, whereby the army is called home to assure the status quo at the expense of all ambitions in Ukraine, but who knows how much of the senior army leadership will still go along with this.

But one thing is certain, word is getting out and spreading wildly that the invasion is a complete disaster, run by total incompetents, and Vlad's going to wear that no matter what.

That doesn't mean Russians become pro democracy or give up imperialism though. It's more likely to mean they want another strongman, and MAYBE an anti-corruption crusade. It's the smaller semi-autonomous ethnic regions who are most likely to precipitate any civil war, if they try to withdraw from the Russian Federation, but Vlad's had 20 years of putting Kremlin loyalists in every position imaginable, so even that might not go anywhere on a large scale.

TBH I wouldn't actually worry about nukes now. Even if he's gone full lunatic, that's a suicide move right now, both abroad and domestically. Is it impossible? No. But he can't just go out and throw nukes with his bare hands, and the armed forces are probably as low as they've ever been in terms of being loyal enough to blindly go along with something that everyone now knows would be crazy and suicidal.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:40 pm

Friday wrote:I like how everyone was tempering expectations of this counter-offensive and talking about slow methodical but tactical gains to eventually starve out the Russians but then the Russians were even shittier than expectations said they were so it turned into a fucking rout

I think the Ukrainians certainly expected it. The Kharkiv offensive clearly had a huge build-up to allow them to pull this off and it appears to have been run as an almost textbook-perfect rapid advance, with elite troops breaking lines, regular army following in the breach to expand it and take most terrain, territorials coming in to hold freed areas, and MPs managing the POWs.

Those months where everyone was wondering where a million trained and ready Ukrainians were, well, not only are they in Kharkiv, there may be as may be three, four, or more of these field army groups not yet committed to the fight (though it looks like at least one more is headed east, and possibly another headed for the Sea of Azov coast). It wasn't just a case of the Ukrainians getting lucky, they were ready for this exact situation - though it probably IS going better than even they had hoped for.

If you look at the way Ukraine has fought any offensive actions throughout the war, it's a pretty consistent pattern, really. There's a ton of careful preparation, a series of distractions, and then a massive kick in the junk. It's just that up to this point it was stuff like the chopper raids on Belgorod's huge fuel depot, or the Moskva's promotion to submarine, instead of large-scale conventional military action. They've done this very, very well and I absolutely expect this is going to be studied in army colleges as one of the greatest military campaigns in modern history, and the world's introduction to waging war in the 21st century (which... let's hope we don't need to refer to that very often).
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