Monday, December 5, 2022
Home POLITICS Taking Stock of Ukraine's Gains... and Russia's Losses

Taking Stock of Ukraine’s Gains… and Russia’s Losses

Ukrainian forces are advancing from all sides. These guys are likely to be near Kharkiv.

Do you remember when we sat here and talked, months in a row, about Ukraine “shaping the battlefield” and dreamed of future counterattacks? We were never short of topics to discuss, but there was a breather to explore topics in great depth. But I like this better!

Mark Sumner tracked the territorial changes this morning, and all I can add is that “Ukraine has probably made more progress.” This is a great visual representation:

The animation is fantastic. And as @War_Mapper points out, this is a conservative version. It has over 20 settlements rumored to have been liberated, but is awaiting confirmation. Meanwhile, Kherson wants in on the action:

This is not a random settlement (although it is small), it was an important Russian defensive position. Here is a dramatic video, by an American gunner, of the liberation:

so take a look Part II other part III. There is dramatic footage of him firing anti-tank rockets at Russian positions from a moving vehicle as we see return fire falling around his vehicle. He is legitimately amazing.

There are rumors (of the russian telegram) that the defenders of this sector, the 20th Motorized Rifle Division, have fled their positions and are trying to cross the Dnieper to return home. I hope it’s true! But zero confirmation as of now.

Going to Izyum, this is…incomprehensible:

Ukrainian forces are 5-10 kilometers from Russia’s most important logistics hub, serving the entire northeastern front and particularly Izyum proper, and yet the Russian commanders in Izyum sent troops to die in a silly strategically irrelevant assault. , tactically useless at Dovhen’ke (now back in Ukrainian hands).

In other words, some idiot thinks that retaking Dovhen’ke is somehow more important than their strategically critical supply center at Kupiansk.

Yes, we are lucky that the Russian forces are so dumb, but how is it possible? Well, Russia explicitly prohibits personal initiative. Too dangerous, someone might get the idea of ​​overthrowing the tsar, in this case, Vladimir Putin. So some local commander has orders to march south towards Sloviansk and will continue to do so until told otherwise. Except his superiors are around Kupiansk and have fled or are dead. So he will continue to waste men, supplies, and ammunition on attacks with zero chance of success, just because that’s the last thing he was told. He boggles the mind!

I don’t even understand these daily attacks! Why not gather men and armor, devise a plan to take the next objective, train for that objective, and then attack in force, you know, like the Ukraine is doing right now? Mark and I broke records on this: Russia’s inability to advance with any kind of mass doomed them from the first week of the war. But it is surprising that we are still seeing this happen seven months later, and that Russia is still trying to make headway in places like southern Izyum despite a complete lack of strategic reasons to do so. Even with Ukraine breathing down Izyum’s neck from the north, supply routes about to be cut off, and these morons calm push south. Incredible!

After the war I want to write a whole book on Dovhen’ke. It’s a great story, and “Russia thinks it’s more important than Kupiansk” might be the best part.

The image is not responsive, feel free to click on it. I mentioned that NATO units go on the offensive with three days’ worth of supplies. People asked if Ukraine can overlap units. That is what is happening here. Armored units advance while their colleagues relax on the side of the road, resting while they wait for trucks of fuel, food and ammunition to reach them.

Pay special attention to the lack of coverage. These guys are not afraid of Russian planes or artillery. They have overrun the Russian artillery positions in their blitzkrieg and can relax in the open air. The Russian Air Force has been inexplicably AWOL throughout the war.

This was geolocated hereon my way to Shevchenkove (now in Ukrainian hands), pointing east, attempting to flee from the Ukrainian advance. According to reports, this was a Russian VDV unit: “elite” airborne forces that have actually spent the entire war getting flogged. Some analysts have argued that they have been grossly misused in this war, serving as memory infantry rather than shock troops. The argument has some merit, but remember that they were used as intended at Hostomel airport near Kyiv early in the war, and spanked there too. So, really, it seems that they are not what they thought.

These are probably salvageable. Ukraine is putting on a team tone. Yesterday they got six new tanks, 12 armored personnel carriers, three anti-aircraft guns, five artillery guns, and a few other random assorted things like trucks. This day, you can add 16 armored infantry vehicles, five artillery guns, and a bunch of assorted trucks, anti-aircraft guns, etc.

We’re also seeing tons of confirmed Russian team losses, we think it’s best to capture them. That is why, at best, the Ukraine takes Kupiansk and then persuades the Russian garrison at Izyum to surrender. That could be worth dozens, if not hundreds, of new armor pieces for Ukraine’s armed forces, not to mention saving hundreds or thousands of lives (on both sides).

Yes, both sides. I am tired of death. I prefer videos like this:

A prisoner of war is the best case scenario for all the world involved. Why should Russians or Ukrainians from Donbas die for Izyum or Kupiansk or anywhere, really? It is up to Ukraine to treat these prisoners of war well so that word gets out that it is safe to surrender. Also, given the way things are going, Ukraine may be in a position to enter Russian-occupied Donbas before too long, and you definitely don’t want that population to resist. Imagine the well-treated Donbas cannon fodder calling their loved ones back home and saying “the song of the Russians for us, we have nothing to fear from the Ukraine!”

We don’t want these guys from Donbas, rebelling against their commander, to decide that they need to defend their homes: (the video has subtitles)


These are future allies. They have seen how much better Ukrainians live across their border, they have seen their Russian commanders loot those houses, and they have seen how cruelly Russia treats them.

Seriously, why would any of them want to die for a war they care little about? Putin can make his own death if he cares enough. this translation from a Russian Telegram post shows just how rough those poor fools have it. Let’s win them, let’s save them all a big fight for Donbas.

That is the “Terminator” vehicle that Russia brought into the war with great fanfare. Russian Telegram and Twitter responded with orgasmic glee. But… yeah, whatever. The name was scarier than anything else. And now Ukraine has one of its own.

That’s a MLRS M270 in Balakliya. If Ukraine is running these things in a city that they took yesterdayin light, means that 1) the front lines are far ahead of here, and 2) there is no Russian air presence. These are too valuable to risk, so Ukraine does not feel this is risky.

Also note the lack of OPSEC lawsuits from Ukraine. In Kherson, it was OPSEC OPSEC OPSEC. “Don’t look at the elephant!” As a result, everyone was staring at Kherson trying to figure out what was going on. Including, apparently, Russia, as Ukraine launched its surprise offensive in Kharkiv. Even That story Claiming that the US and Ukraine played different scenarios and decided that a one-front counterattack made more sense was probably intentional nonsense.

Ukraine pulled off the most masterful disorientation since… D-Day? Seriously, I bet we will learn that Ukraine placed its armor in the Kherson region in full view of Russian satellites and drones, while carefully concealing them around Kharkiv.

These are my favorite videos:


I’m not crying, it’s allergies! And to make that video even plus amazing, soldiers speak ukrainian, women speak Russian. It really puts emphasis on the lie that Russia is only trying to protect Russian speakers.


Haha but of course. It’s just a redistribution! At least they don’t pretend it’s a “goodwill gesture.”


Ukraine obtained hundreds of these M113s. Many countries had them, which is probably why the United States decided to send them instead of more modern Bradleys. the thing is that they arrived months behind. So again, props to the heroic territorial defense forces that held the front lines all this time, allowing Ukraine to properly train with the new equipment, including tactics to best utilize it. I can’t imagine the misery of sitting in trenches under relentless bombardment, but none of this today would have been possible if those lines had collapsed. These units would have to have been in action before they were ready.

Ukraine picked a good time to start winning big:


Nothing motivates donors to dig deeper than winning. Ukraine has shown that it can successfully use what it has received, even things from older generations like the M113s. Success breeds success, and there is now little doubt that Ukraine will get most of what it needs.


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