Forever Wars Moon of Alabama Russia-Ukraine Ukraine

Ukrainian Failed Counterattack, Weak Defense Lines, and Oversight-Free Weapon Deliveries

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, firefighters work to extinguish fire at a building damaged by shelling, in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

By Moon of Alabama

On July 2 Lysichansk came under Russian control:

This comes only a week after the cauldron around Lysichansk began to close. Until a few hours ago there was still a chance to flee from Lysichansk but the only passable road was under Russian fire. It is not know yet how many made it out or how many gave up and were taken prisoners.

Some of those who retreated went to Siversk some 20 kilometer west of Lysichansk. That city will be the next bigger target in that campaign sector.

The speed of this operation was much faster than the one in Mariupol. That points to diminished capabilities and soldier motivation of the Ukrainian forces.

The now much shortened frontline frees up several battalion tactical groups on the Russian side which can now be refitted and rested to then move elsewhere.

The font line  since consolidated:

In a week or two those BTCs which now rest and resupply will be back. They will create a new cauldron around Siversk and maybe Bakhmut, decimate the Ukrainian forces within it to then capture the whole area.

The artillery preparations for the next push had began immediately after the fall of Lysichansk. The ‘week or two’ have passed and the attack on the next defensive line (yellow line in the east) from Siversk to Kurdiumivka has begun. Yesterday ground fighting was reported within Siversk and Soledar.

Source: LiveUAmap (not fully updated) – bigger

In a week or two the line down from Siversk to Krasna Hora will probably be under Russian control. Bakhmut, which is very fortified, may take a few more days to fall.

The battle will then move to the next defensive line further west (also marked in yellow). That line is anchored in the north on Sloviansk which has a railway line (black) coming in from the west. That railway line allows the Ukrainians to supply their current frontline with heavy artillery ammunition and fuel.

Sloviansk will be attacked from the northwest, the northeast and southeast. The force disposition map below shows that the Ukrainian defenses in that area are rather weak.

Source: MilitaryLand.net – bigger

(The map above uses NATO symbology. The marking within the blue (friendly) rectangles shows the type of the unit. ‘Crossed bandoliers’ are infantry, ‘tank tracks’ stand for armored units, a black dot designates artillery, a combination of tank tracks and crossed bandoliers means mechanized infantry. The marking above the rectangle shows the size of the unit. An X means brigade (3,000-4,000 men), three vertical lines a regiment (1,000-1,500 men), two vertical lines a battalion (300-600 men) and so on. Each unit is ‘organic’ in that its has its own artillery or mortar group and other attached support like transport and medics)

The Ukrainian lines in the northeast of the Donetzk oblast are [being] held by pure infantry troops of dubious quality (i.e territorial defense brigades). Most of these have already been mauled by Russian artillery attacks and are down to 70% or less of their original strength. They have little capability to withstand the motorized (and armored) Russian forces that are moving against them. The Ukrainians have very few armored reserves behind the front that could intervene and oppose those Russian attacks.

Now let’s look at the bigger picture in east Ukraine. I have marked 5 defense lines (yellow) which all run north to south along major highways or railroads.

Bigger

The two in the east (right side) will fall within the next two or three weeks. The only really major one of the other lines is in the west (left side) running from Kharkiv through Dnipro down to Zaporizhzhia in the south. It will be nibbled up piecemeal. Kharkiv, the anchor in the north is already under attack. Zaporizhzhia in the south is under long range artillery fire. The center around Dnipro will be attacked from the east as well as from the west side of the Dnieper river (see below). I believe that the Russian side intends to completely take that western line before the winter sets in.

Now let’s look at the southern front where the Ukrainian forces attempted a counterattack on Kherson. For orientation: This map has Dnipro in the upper right.

Bigger

Kherson in a major city on the western side of the Dnieper river. If the Russian side holds onto it it can move up to the economically important industrial mining area of Kryvyi Rih and from there launch an attack on Dnipro from a southwestern direction.

This is a major strategic danger for the Ukrainian side. That is why it collected lots of forces around Mykolaiv (Nikolaev in Russian transliteration) and attempted a counterattack on Kherson. On the force disposition map we can see motorized infantry, marine infantry, artillery, helicopter,  and missile brigades all positioned in or around Mykolaiv.

Bigger

Over the last days those forces used heavy artillery in an attempt to destroy the reservoir dam and river crossing near Nova Kakhorvka on the right side of the above map. This would have flooded the area south of Kherson and would have made its defense way more difficult. But so far all major Ukrainian attacks on the dam and along the southern frontline have failed.

The next map shows the main reasons for that failure.

Bigger

All the Ukrainian units in and around Mykolaiv have come under very heavy artillery fire by the Russian forces. Major targets were unit headquarters, ammunition dumps and any larger groupings of soldiers. The planned Ukrainian counterattack on Kherson was thereby destroyed even before it took up its starting position. I am not aware of any Ukrainian reserve forces that could be moved there to revive it.

All together the Ukrainian forces are in a dire state. They have little to withstand further moves by the Russian side.

Now let’s look at the U.S. support for the Ukrainian forces.

Next to man portable small arms, Javelin anti-tank missiles and stinger anti-air missiles, a major U.S. delivery has been the 100 light howitzers M-777 and their standard 155mm ammunition. These are rather flimsy guns and slow to redeploy. Some 70% of these have by now been disabled or destroyed.

Those 100 howitzers did not have the digital systems that allows for precision ammunition to be used with them. The U.S. has since send another 18 M-777 howitzer with digital aiming systems and 1,000 rounds of precision ammunition to be used with them. The delivery included three artillery detection radars. Those three batteries, with six guns each, will thereby be used in a counter artillery mission against Russian artillery.

The U.S. has also delivered 18 12 HIMARS long range missile systems to the Ukraine. An additional 3(?) systems have come out of German and British depots. They are the new Wunderwaffe Du Jour.

The main use of the HIMARS system has so far been the destruction of several Russian ammunition depots (vid) some 50 kilometers (30 miles) behind the front lines.

The Russian side will use the obvious countermeasures against such attacks. Larger depots will move further back, smaller ones more near to the front will be dispersed and camouflaged. Missile and air defenses will be brought up to defend the depots. Special forces will move behind the Ukrainian front-lines to hunt down the HIMARS missile systems. I have seen two videos of such units attacking Ukrainian S-300 air defense systems far behind the front lines with anti-tank weapons and sharpshooter rifles.

Over the last weeks some HIMARS and other systems have been hitting Donetsk city and have caused a high number of civilian casualties. The Russians have launched special counter battery missions which have been successful in hunting some of those units down. Some Russian Tochka-U missiles systems, no longer in service with the Russian forces, have been given to the forces of the Donetzk Peoples Republic to defend their main city. The Tochka has a similar 100+ kilometer reach as the HIMARS but is less precise.

There is no oversight over where the ‘western’ weapon deliveries to the Ukraine go to. Here is a civil car with Albanian number plates loaded with British and U.S. anti-tanks missile. The Ukrainian military has admitted that such transfers are happening. We can only guess where those weapons will end up.

Of the 18 HIMARS the U.S. has delivered two were reportedly destroyed and one, including its ammunition, was allegedly sold to the Russian side. There were also reports that two French Caesar artillery systems have been sold to the Russians. Those will become nice show pieces right next to all those Nazi Tiger tanks that ended up in Russian military museums.

Tomorrow the parliament of the Russian Federation will hold a special session likely about the war in Ukraine. I have seen no hint of what it might decide to do but it will probably enable Russia’s president to use more forces in Ukraine than he currently does.

The Ukrainian side is losing hundreds of soldiers per day which leads to lots of funerals with questionable symbolics (old video).

It is high time for the Ukrainian and ‘western’ side to stop the war and to re-enter into negotiations with the Russian side.

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12 comments

  1. Our current MSCM is today claiming that the newest weapons release in Ukraine is now punishing the Russian forces. Claiming Russia can’t bring down the new missiles. But on RT I’m watching positions being over ran by United Russian forces basically on a nightly bases where Ukraine forces are fleeing and leaving weapons and ammunition behind regularly.

    Maybe that’s due to Ukraine firing on civilian targets rather than military targets. The same tactics that have been used since 2014. When retreating they target civilians and their infrastructure. They couldn’t manage to successfully beat the local militia, but now we’re to be convinced they can beat a modern military with modern weapons.

    Our western governments are merely accomplices in crimes on humanity while playing out a geological strategy gone horribly wrong. Virtually another Afghanistan where that lie became a 20 year agenda for selling weapons at the cost of US citizens. When your agenda blows up in your face, tell more lies to sell more weapons. This time however, the entire world society is paying the price on many levels.

  2. Thank you for this sobering assessment! So much phoney news in the west. Maybe western populations will wake up and demand accountability from their war leaders when Ukraine is defeated, its population decimated, and rich agricultural land contaminated. Won’t hold my breath though western populations are sheep manipulated and controlled by governments and media beholden to the elites. They are as much to blame as the hapless leaders they have elected to bring us to this sad point in human history that may be our last hurrah. Keep up the great work of truth telling.

  3. Thanks for posting this …. I suspect this is much closer approximation of what is really going on than anything we see on MSM …

  4. It would be nice if those NBC and CBS bubble brains, and if the Maddows and Oprahs of the world could use their platforms (undeserved, for sure) to get into this young woman’s life and perspective:

    If you ask most teenagers in the United States or Europe what they like to do, they’ll probably tell you they enjoy playing video games like “Call of Duty,” where they pretend to be at war. For them, war is a game. An entertaining way to spend their time after school or on weekends. For 13-year-old Faina Savenkova, war is no game, but a terrifying daily reality she has faced for eight long years. Two weeks ago, I first wrote about Faina, the child-writer from eastern Ukraine. She has been surrounded by war since she was just five years old. She first began writing about it when she was ten, as a way to cope with the daily fear of bombardment. And she hopes that her writing will bring attention to the plight of other children in the war-torn region of Donbas where she lives.

    In the west, most people seem to believe that the war in Ukraine began in February, 2022, when Russian forces first crossed the border. And mainstream media makes the war sound simplistic and two-dimensional, like a comic book, with “bad guys” and “good guys.” As though Russians are Orcs from Mordor, and President Vladimir Putin is an evil madman who invaded Ukraine for no reason other than his seething hatred for humanity and his desire for world domination.

    As they say, truth is the first casualty of war.

    In reality, many of the people living in eastern Ukraine begged Putin to intervene for years before he finally relented. And during those years, the people of Donbas lived in their basements as Ukrainian nationalists, who idealize mass-murderers like Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, bombed their homes, churches, schools, markets and other civilian places. The Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine have been under attack by Ukrainian forces, backed by the US and NATO, ever since the Maidan coup which ripped Ukraine asunder in 2014. Just last week, Russian forces finally secured the entire region of Lugansk, wresting it out of Ukrainian control. But the war rages on in Donetsk and in other parts of eastern Ukraine, and civilians continue to die, many of them children.

    Faina wants Americans to know what she and other children in the breakaway People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk have been going through all this time. I talked with her via text on VKontakte, a Russian social media site where we have become acquainted. I also invited her to write an open letter to the American people, which I will include in this article.

    Here is our conversation, translated from Russian.

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/07/12/faina-savenkova-i-wanted-americans-to-know-the-truth/

  5. Pentagon report from March 2022 concluded the Ukraine lost all of its offensive capabilities and hence unable to push Russian forces out of Ukrainian proper. Militarily war was over. What we witnessed since then was senseless slaughter of Ukrainians on orders from Washington.

    It is worth to remember that Russians intervened in Ukraine under legal cover established by Kosovo precedent of NATO intervention attacking entire territory of Serbia that considered Kosovo as its province. And later recognized Kosovo as independent state. That was a precedent of international law with all the consequences on future wars Russia is using in this war.

    In case of Ukrainian conflict , Russia recognized LDPR as independent states (as US recognized Kosovo) and attacked entire territory of Ukraine that considered LDPR as its province like NATO did by attacking entire Serbia to intervene in Kosovo.

    The UN Charter cover for NATO military intervention in Kosovo was UN clause of unalienable right for self-determination of nations established as a part of UN decolonization laws. No UNSC condemnation of NATO ever came and hence such Kosovo precedent became established international law.

    The same clause was used by Russia recognizing Crimea in 2014 and LDPR in 2022 as independent states with distinct ethnic Russians as majority.

    Note that UN charter legalized not only peaceful but violent struggle as a tool of national self determination.

    Moreover like in case of Kosovo where NATO claimed protection of civilians and supposedly acted upon humanitarian intervention provision to save civilians and stop war crimes being committed Russia used the same provisions regarding AFU attacking Donbas committing war crimes for eight years.

    Additionally, Russia used provisions of Article 51 of UN charter regarding collective self defense of an ally (LDPR) as a legal act unimpeded by UN General prohibition of war.

    There is more legal cover of Russian intervention.

    The UN charter as interpreted by US and some NATO allies also gives provision of so called “preemptive self defense ” to prevent imminent attack on its territory or interests.

    US used it as a excuse for US invasion of Iraq located 6000+ miles from US shores in 2003. Saddam supposedly possessed threatening US territory nuclear chemical and biological weapons which were never found as they were never there.

    In case of Ukraine, Russians actually found fully armed and ready 130,000 NATO trained AFU army group as close as 25 miles from Russian southeastern borders. It were those forces that on February 16, 2022 began offensive against 40,000 of poorly equipped LDPR forces.

    On February 24, 2022 Russian armed forces legally intervened in Ukraine under Article 51 of UN charter and international law of precedents including precedent of Kosovo.

    Of course Russians did no do that for sake of itself but to split world in their attitudes to this war. And it worked, Russia was not politically or economically isolated. China, India and UAE, US friendly largest importer of Russian oil in MENA, rejected draft of UNSC Russian condemnation resolution and hence precluded any UN military intervention in Ukraine. It was in contrast to UNSC resolution that allowed US (UN) to intervene in Korea in 1950 to prevent outcome of.. all Korean elections won by communists over collaborators of Japanese 40 years occupation forces.

    Many countries that experienced US and NATO members imperialism in Asia, ME, Africa and South America understood that this war was a direct result of NATO provocation and aggression by other than military means and over 100 countries either officially or unofficially continued economic and political relations with Russia especially after Putin established PetroRuble a commodity backed global currency like PetroDollar.

    Current collapse of Euro happens because, amid near total sanctions, Euro is no longer good for buying commodities from Russia meaning no longer backed by commodities and hence collapsed to parity against Petro-Dollar while Dollar itself lost value to Ruble as it was pushed from dominant positions in global commodity trade that big chunk now is done with Rubles and Yuans (dedollarization of global trade).

    Most important in global repercussions of this war were supporting positions of India and China that assured Russia success in most important even decisive brutal economic dimension of this war against Russia.

    Russia already in 2022 booked food, oil, and gas, potash, petrochemicals for next 25 years of deliveries to China via today non existent yet pipelines and rail tracks, roads and bridges. (Two new China-Russia bridges were opened just this year, more are coming). Russian economy will not collapse especially that now China understands huge vulnerability of Chinese energy and bulk commodity imports to US naval and overall economic blockade.

    Such established legality of Russian intervention however has it drawback namely as soon as Donbas is liberated and a peace agreement is signed then Russia must leave Ukraine (except for Donbas or whatever left under Kiev regime) or her intervention mandate would expire.

    So Kiev stubborn insistence on continued fighting of already lost war only extend legitimacy of Russia intervention and enables unleashing self determination ploy for so called Novorussia (East to south East of Ukraine) which due to Kiev intransigence and de facto war with NATO became imperative for new strategic national security arrangement for Russia in reality of new Cold War with the west. Russia won’t backdown ever as her survival depends on it today.

    Every AFU and UkroNazis attack on civilians in Donbas only legitimizes and prolongs Russian intervention. Exactly what Putin wants.

    Perhaps Russian slow deliberate progress in Donbas is because they do not want to end this operation too soon and lose its legal foundation, as they run the operation on a cheap not be a burden on Russian economy, for they want casualties as low as possible and lowest social costs of this war.

    Putin do not want to take over entire Ukraine, they learned lessons of WWII what size of intervention army should be when Soviets used about 1,5000,000+ Red army to liberate only Donbas from 700,000+ Nazis (similar sized UkraNazi army today) in few months of 1944 with 300,000+Soviets dead. It is just national security operation.

    1. Russia will likely not depart liberated territories— referenda already planned to permanently unify w Russia in several regions beyond donbass….if USA refuses to surrender soon Odessa will also join Russia

  6. This is the war started by champion ‘War-Starter’, Victoria (Kagan PNAC) Nuland — nuf said.

  7. It might be time, it might be well past time, it might be that they should have never provoked this war at all, but US led NATO and it’s Ukrainian puppet state are not going to negotiate because peace is not the purpose here, bleeding Russia is the purpose even as the ground stains red with Ukrainian blood each and every day.

    All for the agenda of a few globalist psychopaths.

    But it doesn’t end there. They have unleashed the dogs of war believing they could control them, but they cannot and in their desperation they are becoming more and more irrational and unpredictable. Not satisfied with the debacle of Ukraine, they are upping the stakes in the middle east with Iran and in Asia with China, almost as if they want to be fighting three wars at the same time spanning the entire planet bringing untold death, pain, and misery to everyone.

    After all, when will the deep state ever find a better time for war and chaos then right now with the perfect fall guy….an absolute monster of a human being…lined up and ready to take the blame.

  8. It’s time for the US/NATO to decide how they would like their crow– fried, broiled or fricasseed. They should have known better. This special military operation, if it has done anything highlights the overreach and ills of the NATO alliance. It also highlights the resilience of the Russian people which was to my knowledge first demonstrated in 1242 at the defeat of the Teutonic Knights whose rusted armor can still be found at the bottom of the river Peipus where Prince Nevsky’s peasant army fought them on that frozen lake. I’m curious as to what the US/NATO reaction will be. Will they be stupid and involve the entire world in their madness, or ask for salt and pepper?

    1. Your comment suggests the US/NATO are capable of eating crow. They are not. They will escalate.

  9. only when USA surrenders will the patient liberation of nazi territory by Russia end. Hungary is preparing to occupy Hungarian populated areas in ukieland…by permitting US to colonize Ukrainians have sealed their fate

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