Good morning everybody! Time to review all the major developments of the last 7-10 days. ADD-ON/EDIT - and then for representatives of the US mainstream media (yes, including NYT, WP, FT, WSJ, Forbes, CNN and similar): because you have, repeatedly, proven yourself as
It hurts to write this but I fail to comprehend the Ukrainian grand strategy for this offensive. To what end do they launch small attacks here and there along the southern front, only to not double down on their successes like in Verbove? With Rasputiza starting in a few weeks, they'll be stuck with little to show but a few square kilometers and some dents in the Surovikin line. Absolutely true that the West didn't supply them with enough materiel, yet, I don't know to what end they fight the way they do now.
It is depressing how difficult this war is proving though not surprising given Russian barbarism towards its own people and to Ukraine. It reminds me of the classic movie climax when the criminal is caught and then grabs and innocent person (usually some beautiful girl) and holds a gun to her head. "If I die, she dies! YAHAHA!!". Russia has no meaningful objective other than destruction. I hope Putin and all his supporters rot in hell.
Bridges from the Crimea to the mainland may be attacked by Storm Shadows. Do you know why we do not see any evidence of some Storm Shadows action in the last days?
Good news :-)
ZSU didn’t enter Verbove. Outskirts yes. Center not yet.
Tom, can you say anything about the available Ukrainian reserves? Can Ukrainians support this level of pressure on russians for long time?
The Hill 166 never been captured. Yet.
I have seen a thumbnail for a YouTube video claiming that the Russians are planning a general mobilisation in September and might recruit 1,2 Million new troops. There is good reason to doubt it. So far Russia has rather given the impression that they'd prefer to freeze the conflict for the time being and rebuild their forces for another effort in a few years. But if they'd do a general mobilisation now, wouldn't that mean that the Ukraine effort to run down the Russian army was a wasted effort?
Thank you for the report.
I've been waiting for a while for the queue to finally "collapse" around Robotyne, but every time it seems like the time is right, they'll cram some units in again, but how long can this last? And if they don't, how far are Ukrainian forces capable of advancing? Apparently, progress in this direction is really paid in blood (where not).
So do you have any expectations in this direction? (I know! mainly, no expectations! because they are the closest shortcut to disappointment). But I'll just ask anyway - do you expect any major movement in this area anytime soon?
A new candidate for the turret tossing championship
Damn, even with such heavy loses RF seem to be able to send even more reinforcements. There was information that RF is creating new divisions with 203 mm arthilery. Do you think that could fix their counter battery problem and turn the tables of the arthilery war ?
Two questions for you:
1). Are the Cubans being recruited by Russia making an appreciable battlefield difference? Given the medical training of Cuban medical professionals, I would assume that Russia is trying to recruit folk for battlefield medic deployment and not cannon fodder.
2). Given the percentage of people in the occupied oblasts that were supporting Russia in 2014, is there any indication as to whether the percentage of Russian supporters have changed since the invasion/counterattack? I'm just thinking that if Zelenskyy is able to repatriate all the oblasts/Crimea, that's great but if 80% of the people there are supporting Russia, is there any point to trying to retake those oblasts, I mean other than political statements to get support from other countries?
As a postscript, I think this may be a good opportunity for Finland to retake Karelia, but I also have opinions about Poland, Lithuania, and Kaliningrad...
@PeterL, excellent point.
Usually, cognitive dissonance is binary -- this and that, but both can't be true. Rarely, it is trinary -- this, that, or the other thing, but if any one of those things is true, then one or both of the other two cannot be true. However. Russia has broken new ground -- we're witnessing what may be the world's first example of four-way, quadruple cognitive dissonance -- a whole new level of insanity.
1. RUSSIA IS GREAT AND ALL-POWERFUL. The West must respect Russia as a great and powerful nation and must take measured steps or risk widening this war in ways that NATO cannot handle and does not wish to face at the hands of the Great Russian Army.
2. RUSSIA IS BEING BEATEN BACK BECAUSE IT IS FIGHTING NATO. The Russian army is having difficulty in Ukraine because they're actually fighting NATO in this war, not just Ukraine.
3. THE WEST IS LOSING PATIENCE WITH UKRAINE BECAUSE IT CANNOT DEFEAT RUSSIA ON ITS OWN. The West has lost faith in Ukraine and might cut off arms shipments -- why? Because Ukraine should be able to defeat the vastly weakened Russian army before tea time; because it cannot, this proves that Ukraine is weak, incompetent, and not deserving of Western support.
4. RUSSIA HAS YET TO COMMIT ITS FULL RESOURCES TO THIS WAR. Russia is holding back and has yet to use its best equipment and forces in this war -- a choice it makes for humanitarian reasons to avoid causing unnecessary Ukrainian civilian casualties.
Four-way cognitive dissonance! This is a historic breakthrough!!
Thanks for the update. One bit of info, I did not understand: you write the Ukrainian resistance caused trouble and as a result there are less checkpoints in occupied Ukraine. So checkpoints were attacked and blown away? That would then result in more freedom of movement for the resistance, resulting in more trouble for the k.cops right? So then I would expect the k.cops to react by creating more checkpoints, but they did not? Did they have no time/chance to do that yet? Or have they lost control of the inland? Or do I look at it wrongly?
So, the offensive pessimists were right that this is a terminal battle of attrition, but they were wrong because the smaller country is winning. OK, in this one instance, with these respective combatants, I can almost credit it. When does the supply of "mobiks" from places like Dagestan run out and Putin has to go sending most of his pressgangs ever closer to the nerve centers of Moscow and Petersburg? It seems to me that's the only scenario in which Ukraine can destroy Russia's will to fight.
Don't you think F16s will change the situation with russian airstrikes by UMPK? And it's one of the main reasons Ukraine need them so much. 🤔