LOL so for the first time ever in the war ISW had to skip a day just to process all the information they took in (it being the 11th may have also had something to do with it, but no other holiday or similar events had previously delayed reporting).
- Newly arriving Russian soldiers flat out refusing to fight, at least in the north.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian military command has suspended sending new, already-formed units to Ukraine due to recent Russian losses and widespread distrust of the Russian military command, factors which have caused a large number of volunteers to categorically refuse to participate in combat. This assessment is still unconfirmed, but low morale due to Ukrainian counteroffensive success may prove devastating to the Kremlin’s already-poor ability to generate meaningful combat capability.
The deployment of these newly formed units to reinforce defensive lines against Ukrainian counteroffensives would be an operationally-sound decision on the part of Russian military leadership; and the delay or potential suspension of these deployments will afford Ukrainian troops time to consolidate and then resume the offensive, should they choose to do so, without having to face newly arrived and fresh (albeit undertrained and understrength) units.
- Russian sources claim the fight for Kharkiv Oblast has largely stabilized at the Oskil River (runs north-south, through Kupyansk though the Ukrainians at least have the whole of Kupyansk). However, Russian forces are not reinforcing this line, and in fact Russian troops were observed redeploying much further away It's very possible that only local proxy militia troops remain for many kilometres east of the Oskil and they have been effectively abandoned by Russia - God help the poor bastards, let's hope they're smart enough to just surrender instead of dying for literally nothing.
No doubt some of them are desperate to stay out of Ukrainian hands because of horrible things they've done, but others still believe the steady diet of lies they've been fed, scared the Ukrainians are the ones who will torture them
, or that they're trying to protect civilians in occupied areas from "nazis" and "conquerors"; many of these guys were not exactly the brightest lightbulb in their village back home.
- The Ukrainians are going to use digital facial recognition to trace and arrest any war criminals linked to any available images or footage, which should give a relatively high identification rate so long as they have some data. As we've seen, it's possible to trace perpetrators from seemingly small amounts of information.
- This map is faannnnnnnntastic
- Nearly all of the relevant rail network which was supplying all Russian forces in the north and east was west of the Oskil River (i.e. now back in Ukrainian hands).
- The Russians have abandoned so much equipment, so quickly, that the Ukrainians are actually struggling to recover it all.
- Some Russian units retreated so fast there were several friendly fire incidents, as the guys in the lines behind had no idea who was coming at them so fast. Many other Russians forces in the north have reportedly changed into civilian clothing to desert entirely, or at least escape the front lines. Calls are being intercepted again, so many Russians are genuinely terrified and in despair, and are receving nothing - no ammunition, no food, nothing. Which again, come on guys just fucking surrender. Fuck, it's not worth it.
- Some Russian troops have been intercepted saying the Ukrainians' counter-battery fire is "beastly" and "extremely accurate". Hm. Guess those new radars helped - but I bet some significant reallocation was also made to improve this, as it was previously noted as a glaring weak spot for the Ukrainians. Russian forces have also observed the extremely tight coordination between all branches of the Ukrainian military in complex combined-arms operation and commented on it.
- On that note, in places where Russian forces are still fighting, the Ukrainians are firing shells with leaflets calling for surrender. An unofficial report says there are currently 5,000 Russian POWs in Ukrainian hands.
- Russian sources have also confirmed further documentation to the effect that the Ministry of Defence has paid out death benefits for 50,000 Russian soldiers - and are projecting further payments at 8,000 such death benefit payouts per month (!!!), which, it should be noticed, is absolutely NOWHERE near the number of new troops (of ANY level of training) their meagre recruitment efforts are producing, even taking all possible sources into account.
- This is completely insane, someone frag this piece of shit.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in Donetsk Oblast on September 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground assaults on various settlements around Bakhmut and Avdiivka. The continued ground attacks in this area far from the counteroffensive frontlines are noteworthy because Central Military District Commander Colonel General Alexander Lapin was given responsibility for the western grouping of forces that had been in Kharkiv Oblast following the loss of most of that oblast to Ukrainian forces. Lapin has shown no indication that he intends to alter his ongoing limited offensive campaign despite suddenly receiving responsibility for a collapsing front. He appears instead determined to continue attacks that have no meaningful chance of securing operationally significant, let alone decisive, gains. Russian forces continued routine fire along the line of contact in Donetsk Oblast.
- The IAEA announced that the secondary reserve power lines to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are back online, which means that the plant is no longer relying on emergency diesel generators to ensure the operation of safety and control equipment.
I don't think I ever explained that the plant actually relies on external power (or emergency backups) for much of the operational equipment and facilities so that a plant shutdown would never hinder emergency efforts. There's a small local conventional power plant in surrounding Enerhodar, which is normally the primary source, but it also has main line transmission connections to the Ukrainian grid. This is why cutting the plant entirely off from INCOMING power transmission is dangerous. In peacetime it's a sound, triply-redundant safety measure so that the need to power the plants own facilities is never a question an operator would have to face in an emergency.
The Ukrainian employees have also been shutting down several main reactors over the past week, and running the remaining ones at a low "idle" as it were. So in general the danger of a major nuclear accident at Europe's largest nuclear plant has been decreasing (roughly since the IAEA team arrived - funny how that works, huh?), though the chances of a spiteful strike or sabotage by the Russians is not impossible.
- Down south, the Russians have withdrawn from roads, a rail junction, and a town north of Kherson City which form a natural defensive line. This leaves Kherson directly open to a major drive into the city from the north. The famously bombed Chornobaivka airfield is also up there right in the path of the Ukrainian army as it's northwest of town. LDR and DNR troop sin particular have abandoned their posts to head to the Dnipro. As well:
Spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command, Natalya Humenyuk, stated on September 12 that Russian forces located along the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast are attempting to negotiate for surrender under the auspices of international law.
That's the EAST bank, which is supposedly the safe side for the Russians. Unclear if they're negotiating to surrender only the forces n the west side in the pocket, or we're looking at a larger surrender.
- At least some large Russian formations in Kherson have lost so many troops that the remainder are refusing to fight.
- Russian forces have also been observed looting e-bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles in Kherson to flee in the event of a military collapse.
- In general, occupation authorities, administrators, and technicians brought in by Russia are beginning to flee back to Russia or head towards the puppet republics in numbers large enough to hinder occupation administrations in a very notable way. Proclamations are being issued and security forces have been continually been increasing crackdowns to try and uncover partisans, but disorganization was already bad without administration personnel fleeing as it was.
- The outskirts of Taganrog, the first Russian city immediately east of Mariupol and Ukraine's portion of the Azov coast, were supposedly hit by a major Ukrainian strike. A minor story for now, but it could be another prelude to a southern coastal offensive.
- Arguments are developing on Russian TV, in telegram channels, and all sorts of other places on whether to shoot or spare Russian generals, who are starting to band together to openly oppose Putin, and this argument is getting hotter, not colder. Comparisons are being made to the massive Soviet purges of the late 1930s.
- Pickled Igor reminding everyone that, while a useful source of information, he is also a nazi shitbird and a war criminal. His being rebuked so publicly by proxy troops is new though, as that was how he made his bones in the first place.
- Related: Kadyrovites are active in Kherson and the rest of the south as well. They're not fighting in any battles, but instead have set themselves to catch deserters, harass local Ukrainian civilians while searching for artillery spotters, and generally committing war crimes. The ones on the west bank of the Dnipro are starting to panic, unsure if they will escape the pocket. Which, good, fuck these guys.
- As Christo Grozev's Wagner contact hinted at two days ago, Putin has ordered various oligarchs to form private military companies. Putin is effectively no longer counting on the Armed Forces. The oligarchs will not receive any state funding and are expected to be entirely out-of-pocket on this one - are you, uh, sure about this cunning plan of yours, Vlad?
- Ripple effects in Europe. The Serbs are backing off their neighbours, as they now understand they will have fuck all nothing in terms of backing from Russia if they try anything. Serbia versus all of the EU is not the odds they like. Orban is also looking like he's looking for a hole to crawl into for a while.
- In the continued absurdity of this real life "level up to get powerups" paradigm of arms shipments, Germany is FINALLY (possibly? probably? maybe?) preparing to send tanks and other major weapons, in large quantities. But, you know, don't believe it till that shit's in Ukrainian hands. That said, better late than never, as any modern western weapons will help ensure Ukraine will be more than strong enough to deter any possible Russian attacks in future. The same goes for US lend-lease, which has not been part of the military aid to date.
- Russian representatives called for a meeting of the UN Security Council, requesting Ukraine to return "illegally captured" tanks, artillery, APCs, missile systems, radars and ammo. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA