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The Ukraine War: Reassessing the situation after another month

The Ukraine War as of April 9, 2022
The Ukraine War as of April 9, 2022. Click for full map.

The Ukraine War as of May 5, 2022
The Ukraine War as of May 5, 2022. Click for full map.

Since my last look at the state of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on April 7, 2022, not much as happened, as indicated by the two maps to the right, both simplified versions of maps created by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The red hatched areas are regions Russia captured in 2014. The red areas are regions the Russians have captured in this invasion and now fully control. The pink areas are regions they have occupied but do not fully control. The tan areas the Russians claim to control but the control remains unconfirmed. Blue regions are areas the Ukraine has recaptured. The blue hatched area is where local Ukrainians have had some success resisting Russian occupation.

Russia has now completely shifted its military resources from the north to the eastern parts of the Ukraine. As a result it has had some success firming up its control over the regions it had invaded to the north and east of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions it had grabbed in 2014. Yet, these gains were only in areas Russia had already occupied. In the past month it has almost entirely failed to invade or capture any additional territory.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine has begun to have some success in retaking territory around the city of Kharkiv. It also successfully pushed back an advance Russia attempted to the west of Donetsk. Moreover, despite repeated expectations that the full occupation of the city of Maripol would be completed a month ago, that occupation is still not complete, with resistant forces still fighting heavily in one area and thus tying up Russia forces for far longer than expected.

The May 5th assessment by ISW said this:

Russian forces continued ineffectual offensive operations in southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk Oblasts without securing any significant territorial gains in the past 24 hours. The Pentagon assessed that Russian forces have not been able to make further advances due to their inability to conduct offensive operations far from their ground lines of communication (GLOCs) along highways, as ISW previously assessed, and muddy terrain. … Russian forces are reportedly suffering losses in stalled attacks along the Izyum axis, with the Ukrainian General Staff reporting that elements of the 4th Tank Division and the 106th Airborne Division withdrew to Russia after sustaining heavy losses in the past several days.

Russian forces conducted unsuccessful attacks in Lyman, Severodonetsk, and Popasna, and maintained shelling along the line of contact in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Russian forces also used thermobaric munitions against Ukrainian positions in Lyman and are unsuccessfully attempting to leverage massed artillery fire to break through Ukrainian defenses.

The overall trend seems to favor the Russians. Whether it can gain more territory is unclear, but it seems that except for one area near Kharkiv it is firming up its control on the territories grabbed in early March. The question now remains: Can Russia expand its invasion, or can the Ukraine push back and force the Russians back?

Right now it looks like neither can do either, and the situation shall remain bogged down for the near future.

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48 comments

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    Slowly grinding down the AFU, minimizing Russian losses. Not storming Azovstal, starving the Nazi’s out.
    When finished, Odessa will no longer be part of Ukraine. I’ve heard its an ethnic Russian city.

    When the Neocons decided we needed a new war in Iraq, we used shock and awe, lightning strikes, siezed Bagdad and then the USA bleed out our finest and a ton of cash. For nothing, nothing at all. Maybe the Russians learned from our failure.

    Then the Neocons said Wash Rinse Repeat in Afganistan.

    Getting familiar? Wash Rinse Repeat in Ukraine. Another 33 Billion for deep state money laundering. How’s things a few hours south of Tucson?

  • Col Beausabre

    :Shallow Minded Reader” – you’re not fooling anyone Questionable. But keep wasting your time, we can use the humor

  • Col Beausabre: Shallow minded is NOT Questioner/Realist. Though I don’t entirely agree with him, I do think our brainless leaders are approaching the Ukraine situation with far too little thought and far too much emotion, and this is his point.

  • Dave Johnson

    I think I concur with Shallow Minded Reader. It is difficult to get a real clear understanding as to why we are there, at all. The neocons want this war to go hot (it seems). I have read many articles on both sides of this issue. What I have read about Putin does not, in my opinion, sound like a madman. His speeches seem logical, and even. I do not know all the facts, but does anyone? And do any of our “leaders” make sense? Do we know what these “leaders” want to achieve? This is not the country I went overseas for “back in the day”. I served in Nato during some of the hot times during the cold war. Even then it was nowhere near a military force to be reckoned with. It was more similar to a multi-national group of people that still lived according to their own country’s military requirements. This could have and should have been settled months ago. There had been an agreement signed by these participants. The US pushed this forward, and is giving Ukraine almost 100 times what all the other Nato coun

    tries are giving (combined).My vote and my donations will go to the people that want us out of Ukraine!

  • kaf

    This is just the damnedest thing.

    I automatically become suspicious when all the politicians and all the media are on the same page and they’re all urging us to get on this bandwagon.

    And think about all of our politicians’ families involved in Ukraine–Biden’s, Pelosi’s, etc. It’s like a money-laundering operation masquerading as a nation.

    Now it seems like we’re trying to provoke Russia into an all-out war. Over Ukraine, for God’s sake.

    No thanks. Not interested. I have no f***s to give about Ukraine.

  • wayne

    Black Sabbath
    “War Pigs”
    https://youtu.be/LQUXuQ6Zd9w
    7:54

  • sippin_bourbon

    I would not say all the politicians and media are on the same page. If you do not see the media talking against involvement, your not looking.

  • Tom Billings

    The commenters seem to be shaping their willingness to engage in a policy entirely on their trust or distrust of the current administration, … yet again, … just as so many did in the previous administration, when so many others hated that administration.

    I am very dubious about basing support for a particular foreign policy on support for *any* single administration. I am on the record as being extremely dubious about the domestic, and many of the foreign policies of this administration.

    The *competent* basis of policy is starting with the planet we want our grandchildren to live in, and working backwards from there to where we are, trying to find what actions will link those 2 things. For the only certainty is that this world *will* be far more intimately interlinked than it is today. The Ukraine War *will* affect us, and all those who sell to us, and buy from us. Bitch as you will, about the thoroughgoing interconnections of an industrial world, it is still the world that supports 8 billion humans, and must continue to do so.

    That being the case, I support helping Ukraine prevent the recreation of the Russian Empire. That is what Putin’s crowd is engaged in trying to do. Classical Empire, which is what Putin seeks to recreate, is *not* friendly to industrial Republics. Much less is it friendly to industrial society around the world. The same goes for the current regime in China.

    While we must, and will, get rid of the current Congress in another 8 months, and this administration in another 25 months after that, our ongoing desire for not needing to defend industrial society is simply too much of a luxury in a world that will either have industrial productivity, or will starve.

  • Realist

    “What’s going on in the south of Ukraine? by Jacob Dreizin”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp69rZy5_SA

  • Realist

    Intel Slava:

    The NATO Secretary General said that the general offensive of the Russian Armed Forces in the Donbass had not even begun yet. The RF Armed Forces use a limited amount of available forces.

    Confirmatory video about the occupation of the village of Svetlichnoye. Earlier, Kadyrov announced the capture of Svetlichny.

    The departure of the main part of the remaining forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Popasna is confirmed from the field in the morning. The cleansing of the city continues, but it is obvious that the enemy is going to provide long-term resistance already at other lines. Serious progress in Popasna is associated with the involvement of the Wagner PMC, whose fighters performed well in street battles in the central part of the city.

    Fresh summary of Snake Island:

    In the area of Snake Island, a Ukrainian Su-24 bomber, a Su-27 fighter, three Mi-8 helicopters with troops and two Bayraktar-TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down. The Ukrainian assault boat “Stanislav” was also destroyed. It looks like Kyiv decided to perform a mini-victory, but something went wrong.

    All women, children and the elderly were evacuated from Azovstal, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk reported.

    An enemy group with a white flag entered the road leading from the bridge, where the evacuated civilians were received, deep into Azovstal – the Russian military moved forward to meet them as parliamentarians. The first personal contact since the blockade of Mariupol.

    The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed a large accumulation of weapons and military equipment received from the United States and European countries in the area of the Bogodukhov railway station in the Kharkiv region, the Russian Defense Ministry reports.

    Russian air defense intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles and nine Smerch rockets over the city of Izyum, Kharkiv region, the Russian Defense Ministry reports.

    Senior officers from the US, France and Britain may be on Azovstal, this is evidenced by Macron’s frequent calls and requests, said Yan Gagin, adviser to the head of the DPR government.

    Special Forces “O” captured another batch of Western weapons.

    https://t.me/intelslava/28125

  • Realist

    Gene S.:

    “Scott Ritter was talking yesterday on YT, a channel called “issues with Cynthia.” He said that he’s more frightened than he’s ever been in his life, because we’re no longer in control of events. Events are controlling us, inferring nuclear war. He referred to the weapons being shipped to Ukraine as junk. The Javelins are mostly beyond their expiration dates, meaning they don’t function as designed. The M777 artillery piece is fragile and difficult to operate. It’s light artillery. The M113 APCs are from the Vietnam era. Nevertheless, they do use up Russian resources when they’re targeted. He inferred that the US and NATO, one in the same, will enter the war. The war is going well for Russia. Ukraine is losing 300-1200 troops a day, Russia about 20-30.”

  • Realist

    Scott Ritter: “For every Russian is going down, 10 to 15 Ukrainians are going down”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1asXX7eTxQ

  • Cotour

    Really? Ineffective and out of date? Seriously?

    “He referred to the weapons being shipped to Ukraine as junk. The Javelins are mostly beyond their expiration dates, meaning they don’t function as designed. ”

    ————————-

    “How great are Russia’s tanks losses? Ukraine’s armed forces say Russia has lost more than 680 tanks.

    Meanwhile, Oryx – a military and intelligence blog which counts Russia’s military losses in Ukraine on the basis of photographs sent from the war zone – says Russia has lost more than 460 tanks and over 2,000 other armoured vehicles.

    According to the Rand Corporation and the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Russia had about 2,700 main battle tanks in total at the start of the conflict.”

    https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/z6JfdpNbeDrFLb99Q03O3A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOC43NQ–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/cYrac9CSsXDBcua6Eawwvw–~B/aD01MTE7dz03Njg7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_sg/News/AFP/1c859d7fefe7e44d5178ee4789263fa5ce40015a.jpg

  • Realist

    Gonzalo Lira: “Poland Will Take A Bite Out Of Ukraine”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPqCMZu8Wrk

  • Realist

    Scott Ritter “the Javelin missle myth.” (19. April 2022)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT7mMm0d0aw

  • Realist

    Politics, Military and Economics: “There are clear signs of enormous equipment and personnel losses suffered by Ukraine’s military (16.April 22)”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdLsLIqWJ90

  • Lee S

    As with pretty much everything these days, it is kinda hard to parse the facts out from the bullcrap regarding the situation in Ukraine.
    Although I’m hardly “scared” as such ( I was born in 71, so grew up under the nuclear threat ), here in Sweden the government is requesting that shelters get cleared out and made fit for use. I never imagined that my kids would have to experience that shadow over them.
    I kinda get Putin, he doesn’t want NATO on his doorstep, and who can blame him? The fact that Sweden and Finland are trying to fast track NATO membership will, in my opinion, endanger us more than staying neutral.
    My biggest concern tho, and this hasn’t been discussed anywhere I visit, is that the US, UK, the EU, are talking about the “war crimes” Putin will be held to task for. Although probably true accusations, if the man thinks he has no exit route without facing an international tribunal for war crimes, he has no reason to exit, and no reason not to escalate.
    This truly worries me. The energy prices over here have literally doubled in the last few months…. I can bite that one, ( although there are many that are being left in a “heat or eat” situation, both here and in the UK, and no doubt in the rest of Europe..) , but pushing a madman into a corner, with no exit route, and a big red button .. I am not scared, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried.
    Thoughts from over the pond welcomed. Remember we get 1-2 minutes, not that whole 8 you get over there!

  • Cotour

    “Putin loses 39th colonel in Ukraine War: Vladimir suffers blow on eve of Victory Day military parade as elite soldier dies in gun battle during intelligence mission near Kharkiv”

    Mr. Putin needs to draw his new border lines, claim “Victory”, go home and call it a day before things are pushed and escalated to where no rational man wants or needs them to go. His people continue to threaten nuclear strikes on those who dare assist Ukraine. What do they think the results of such actions will be for Russia and its cities and its people?

    A. Einstein: “I don’t know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

    Vlad, seriously consider this quote before you set things off to where they cannot be called back. Your extensive miscalculations and hubris have cost you greatly, stop out your losses and get your head straight you have gone as far as you are going to go.

  • John

    Putin looks sick, hopefully he’ll die. Painfully. Maybe the next dictator will find a way to end the brutality and bloodshed. I feel sorry for the poor russian slavs, having to live in russia.

    Nothing justifies what is happening in Ukraine. Doesn’t matter they wanted to join the EU and NATO. Doesn’t matter that corrupt western oligarchs were making more than russian ones. Doesn’t matter biden and fauchi were over there. De-nazification is pathetic and laughable. People who excuse the pain, misery, and suffering inflicted upon Ukraine are sick.

    Russia should win, same way a bully should win when they beat down a weakling. Propaganda from both sides aside, at least the invaders are paying a price.

    I really doubt russia wants to play the nuke game, they’re sure to equally loose on that one too. There’s no existential threat if you can’t destroy a neighboring country. Idiots.

  • Realist

    The Russian army is waging a very effective war. Its goal is the complete destruction of the Ukrainian army and not the capture of as much land and cities as possible. The goal is achieved in a methodical manner with minimal own losses.

    Mr. Zimmerman: You and your sources (in their arrogance) didn’t understand that. Once the Ukrainian army is destroyed, the whole country will fall to the Russians anyway. They will connect the eastern part of Ukraine (about 40% of the total area) to Russia. This is already happening everywhere the Russians are. As I said, the Russians are in no hurry, they want to keep their casualties as low as possible. The destruction of the enemy army is already very far advanced.

    GRAPHIC!
    Special forces inspect the positions of the destroyed unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

    https://t.me/intelslava/28252

    I feel sorry for the Ukrainian men dying for the falling US empire. Many are in their 40s, 50s or even older and were recently conscripted by criminal Zelenskyy, who also lets his Azov fascist brothers die at the Mariupol steel mill rather than allow them to surrender.

  • Cotour

    ” The goal is achieved in a methodical manner with minimal own losses.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61114843?msclkid=cd8fff45cefa11ecbf181f21a8241c1c

    Yes, with minimal losses.

    “Really”?

  • Realist

    Canadian “Super Soldier” Wali Goes Home – Tells Tale of Ukraine Losing War

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz0qkS6aT5c

  • Realist

    Intel slava: “Missile attack on the Grande Pettine hotel in Odessa, where foreign mercenaries were stationed.”

    https://t.me/intelslava/28256?single

  • Cotour

    Realist, Questioner, whoever you are, Putin has already failed and will never be able to recover from his blunders, raw ambition and hubris.

    NEVER, that door has closed, if it was ever open.

    Your spinning is useless PR masturbation.

  • Realist

    Defense Politics Asia:

    [ Luhansk Front ] “Popasna captured confirmed as RIAFAN.ru reports from the ground”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-NNWSGv514

    Joel Cambre: “Since I have been following this war I have noticed that the communiqués of the Russian forces are more reliable than those of the Ukrainian forces. The Russian general staff says nothing when it loses a position, and announces its successes. On the Ukrainian side, imaginary successes are too often invented, which is a classic feature of retreating armies.”

  • Realist

    Great website from an Asian who put a lot of work into it. We can zoom in and see the vast system of hundreds of tiered trenches and forts built by Ukraine and NATO over the last 8 years in Donbass. The defense system is now being destroyed piece by piece by Russia and its allies, which is relatively demanding because – as we must note – the Russian side does not use the most powerful means of destruction, such as massive bombardments by aircrafts, but relies on its powerful artillery, which is also successful but relatively time-consuming.

    http://defensepoliticsasia.com/Ukraine/

  • wayne

    Germany Enables Revolution in Russia
    https://youtu.be/g3HxNBvV1Jo
    3:34

    “In a cynical yet effective move, German high command facilitated Vladimir Lenin’s return to Russia. Lenin then led the October Revolution that destroyed the Czarist government of Imperial Russian and led to its withdrawal from WW1, allowing Germany to focus its war effort on the Western allies.”

  • Realist

    Trained military analyst Andrei Martyanov (lives and works in America): “How To Make A Decision. Real War Planning. ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgIgXjSnCJM

  • Realist

    Russia Is Not Invited…
    … for celebration of V-Day in France, because, obviously, supporters of Nazism from the US and EU, cannot invite the main force which destroyed the best combined Europe threw at USSR in 1941. In fact, it is only natural. So, while they celebrate in France, this event will probably be ignored, because after all–these are West’s new old heroes.

    Taken from Martyanov’s blog:

    “A World War II cemetery in Nijmegen has been vandalised with anti-Russian texts and swastikas, news website Nu.nl said on Wednesday afternoon.The website published several photos showing Ukrainian flags, swastikas and the text [deleted] painted across the entrance to the Jonkerbos cemetery and on several grave stones.The location is the last resting place for 1,642 soldiers, mainly British but also Canadians, Australians and other allies.-Advertentie-Nijmegen mayor Hubert Bruls said the vandalism was ‘disgusting’. ‘And to happen on a day like today,’ he told the Gelderlander, referring to the May 4 Remembrance Day commemorations. ‘I cannot understand how someone would do this.’

    Read more at DutchNews.nl:
    Well, Hubert Bruls, evidently missed the memo that Western political establishment and media are now into Ukie thing and support murder, rape and pillage committed by Nazi regime in Kiev and that from now on is the fate of Europe who MUST support Nazism, and she will. ”

    See pictures in the blog.

    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com

  • Realist/Questioner: I must say I am complemented that your Russian propaganda unit in Germany thinks my website important enough to spend a lot of your time and effort inundating it with numerous unconfirmed and generally shallow-minded analysis in an effort to spin the situation in the Ukraine to appear different than it is.

    However, the rules here are very clear: No obscenities. And I don’t care if you are quoting someone. You can indicate the obscenity without publishing it. I have deleted it from your comment.

    Next time you do this I will suspend you for a week. Do it a third time and out you go, forever. And trust me, when you change your ip address and nickname to hide your identity, I will quickly figure it out and ban you again. Be warned.

  • Realist

    7 minutes of truth – Scott Ritter

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KESKyQdGrbs

  • TallDave

    makes sense, Putin has said all along he would accept a peace deal leaving the Donbas Republics “independent” and Ukraine “neutral”

    so this could have all been over months ago if the West hadn’t egged on Ukraine to fight an unwinnable war for the dubious “noble cause” of… keeping two Russian ethnic-majority regions in the Ukraine? after they voted to leave?

    for this and the Steele Dossier we committed numerous acts of war against a country with thousands of ICBMs?

    smart power!

    Putin is a stupid thug and his war is a terrible idea, but Russians in Donbas also deserve political representation, and the West has no business in a Russian border war in any case

  • the only certainty is that this world *will* be far more intimately interlinked than it is today

    An assertion without evidence. Peter Zeihan disagrees and I find his arguments strong, if not compelling. The US is losing interest in Bretton Woods (not unreasonably – it succeeded in its purpose of containing the Soviet Union and has been running on inertia ever since). If we stop being the world’s sea police, the world will most definitely *not* be more interconnected, but rather significantly less connected.

    This not only applies to physical movement, but data, too. If someone cuts a transoceanic fiber cable and the US doesn’t intervene, who will? The Suez Crisis was a *long* time ago. Let’s say the Japanese sever some links to China, would we do anything?

  • Cotour

    ‘Let’s say the Japanese sever some links to China, would we do anything?”

    That is your go to example? The Japanese making a move like cutting a cable? You’re not more concerned that in the real world the Russians or the North Koreans are more likely to do so connecting the U.S. or the Japanese to the rest of the world, no?

    I would think that if the Japanese were to do so, cut a cable used by the Chinese we would have directed them to do so or have assessed the need to strategically do so. Not to mention the ability to take out a satellite, which the Chinese and the Russians are concentrating on.

    If and when the U.S. once again has some measure of strong, competent American leadership none of these potentials will exist. Why? Because the consequences would be intolerable and costly.

    Under the “Leadership” of Joe Biden and the leftist that are running him all potentials exist.

  • Biglar

    I would discount any analysis that comes out of ISW. It seems to rely mostly on the Ukrainian government for its facts, and doesn’t seem to understand what is going on, or prefers to be a willing dupe for Ukrainian propaganda. Not that Russian propaganda is going to be much more accurate. To truly understand what’s going on it’s necessary to sift through information from both sides which are both rife with lies.

    However, there are a few things we do know: 1. Russia has almost complete air superiority, though Ukraine does still appear to have somewhat effective air defenses; 2. Ukraine seems to have limited remaining indirect fire capabilities, and appears to have almost completely lost its counter-battery capability. 3. Ukrainian armor seems to have mostly disappeared from the battlefront, whether through attrition or strategic withdrawal, with Ukrainian forces mostly consisting of infantry armed with (very effective) anti-tank weapons and in many cases driving civilian vehicles or dug into existing fortifications such as trenches.

    Because of these conditions, the Russians appear to prefer using stand-off weapons such as artillery, surface to surface missiles, limited air power, and main tank guns to engage opposing forces outside the range of the infantry to limit their casualties going forward. This allows the Russians to make fairly quick work of Ukrainians in the countryside, which has forced the Ukrainian to focus their defenses in the cities and villages.

    Ultimately, it appears the Russians will likely prevail due to superior logistics. There are a lot of reports of ammunition and supply shortages on the Ukrainian side and American resupply efforts are likely being wasted through Russian interception, transport delays, a skills gap among Ukrainian conscripts which will prevent effective deployment of sophisticated US weapons, and because it is Ukraine, graft. Cracks are starting to show in Ukrainian forces in Donbas, as the retreats seem to be slowly accelerating while the cumulative effects of the Russian artillery fire take their toll. That this conflict culminated in a very bloody war rather than difficult negotiations is a tragedy, and the US government bears a lot of the responsibility with its “We’ll fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian martyr” strategy.

  • p.mo

    The reality on the ground is that since the last update the UAF have recaptured a considerable amount of ground north and east of Kharkiv, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, was sunk by anti-ship missiles. There have been a number of attacks on logistics facilities across the border in Russia. Russia has gained a small amount of ground south of Izium, and near Lyman, both at considerable cost. The Ukrainians fell back from Poposna, whether they were forced out or strategically retreated is an open question, but Russian forces now control the town, again at considerable cost.

    The UAF advance east from Kharkiv should have the Russians worried, however. With Western artillery having a range of between 26 and 32 miles, their positions put Vovchansk and the main road routes into Kupyansk, where the largest logistical hub of the northern element of the russian army is based. UAF are also currently advancing towards Chkalovske. If they can take back that town all of Kupyansk will be in range of the new artillery. The forces based near Izium, and supported from the logistical hub at Kupyansk, comprises 22 BTG’s, or somewhere between 7000 and 20 000 men (I’m guessing its about 10-11 thousand given prior losses). It is by far their biggest group. The other axis of attack have no more than 14 BTGs.

    The other development is Snake Island. Russia claims the UAF had ineffective attacks, and that attempts to take back the island suffered significant losses. There is no evidence to support this. To the contrary, we have drone footage of UAF drones attacking air defence positions several days ago with success, followed by a Russian attempt to reinforce the air defences with a new TOR SAM system on a landing boat. That attempt was attacked by drones and the landing boat was sunk with the SAM system destroyed. A subsequent attempt to land Russian reinforcements by helicopter was also attacked by drones, with the helicopter destroyed and likely all on board perishing. Some of the infantry dismounted from the helicopter may have survived, but would likely have been seriously wounded. An air attack by UAF SU-27’s resulted in several large explosions of buildings on the island. Snake Island has become more strategically significant after the sinking of the Moskva. If the UAF can secure the island and station anti-ship missiles on the island, with a range of more than 160 km they can basically keep the black sea out of the area as long as they hold the island. This could prevent an amphibious assault on Odessa (which honestly isn’t much of a threat, because they cannot logistically support such an assault), and it could force the Black Sea Fleet away from the coast, and potentially threaten ships in their main port at Sevastopol.

    So, the upshot is the Russians are taking heavy losses, the Ukrainians are obviously taking losses as well, though likely less as they are defending well prepared and dug in positions. Russia has gained very little ground. Ukraine has gained more, specifically around Kharkiv. They may soon be able to threaten Russian logistical routes supporting Izium. If they can do so, Russia will either have to dilute their efforts on that Axis by trying to retake the ground lost to Ukraine, or potentially suffer the same sort of problems they did around Kiev.

  • Biglar: I recognize the ISW’s over-reliance on Ukrainian sources. However, the true test of an information source is its track record. ISW’s analysis and predictions have, almost two months after the start of the war, been consistently on the money.

    The one battle in which their predictions have been wrong has been in Mariupol, where ISW has for the past month repeatedly predicted the city would fall entirely to Russia within days. This has not happened. Though the Russians will eventually complete its takeover, the cost has been much higher and the time expended longer than ISW expected.

    In other words, though ISW is generally favorable to the Ukraine’s military position (which has generally turned out to be correct), the one time ISW has been favorable to the Russians it has been wrong.

    All in all, these facts make ISW’s conclusions quite trustworthy, though like any source one must always take everything with some doubt.

  • Realist

    While some here, brainwashed by Ukrainian fairy tales and misled by US’s own propaganda, indulge in false illusions and deny the reality of the Ukrainian army’s annihilation, Ukrainian soldiers are dying by the hundreds every day. Overall, irreplaceable Ukrainian losses are about an order of magnitude higher than Russian losses. I don’t want to blame the owner of this blog for not knowing anything about warfare, but I do have to blame him for believing the dubious analyzes of the neoliberal IWS. The owner of these blogs is also too bad to accept and at least study the teachings of real experts that I have mentioned and presented here. But this ignorance is nothing new.

    https://t.me/intelslava/28263?single

  • Realist/Questioner: You are breaking my second rule on this website: No insults. We disagree about the fog of war in the Ukraine. No call for you to call me and everyone else who disagrees with you of being “brainwashed” and deniers of reality. It also only weakens your argument. If all you can do is insult your opponents suggests you don’t have any facts to back you.

    I think you need a time-out. Come back in a week, after your suspension ends.

  • Biglar

    Hi Robert,
    Mariupol has been, for all intents and purposes, taken by the Russians for weeks now. That the Azovstal steel plant hasn’t fallen yet when it was full of civilians did not matter, especially as the defenders were mostly out of ammunition and supplies, and did not present much of a threat to the Russian occupying forces.
    I don’t think the predictions of the ISW were generally that insightful, though they made one key prediction which will soon be tested. They stated repeatedly that the Russians lacked the ability to complete a surrounding operation in the Donbas. However, with the fall of Popasna the Russians are very close to having a large segment of the Ukrainian forces in Donbas surrounded, so we shall soon see whether ISW is correct about that. FYI a very interesting counterpoint to ISW which you might want to check out that I recently found is the Military Summary channel on Rumble, which is just a guy who collects information from Russian and Ukrainian sources and summarizes it in a map where he discusses the strategic implications. It’s less about anecdotes (who destroyed what) and more about the tactical situation that is unfolding in Ukraine. It’s interesting, though it’s probably good to stay skeptical. But compared to ISW his analysis seems much more in-depth and informative.

  • Jay

    Wow! It’s like the old days with Pravda and the TASS news agency.

  • pzatchok

    The Ukraine does have a small arms ammo shortage. But they are getting more from many many places around the world.

    Even a few ammo companies in the US have promised a few million rounds of 7,62×39. Ak-47 ammo.
    In the long run they will have to switch out guns to go to a more available ammo but even that problem is being taken care of.

    As for the supplied missiles being defective.
    Its not as bad as some have said. Germany dropped the ball on maintenance and storage. The Ukraine just had to switch out batteries and clean up the missiles and launchers. They worked just fine after. The US sent ones were fine.

    As for the mobile artillery we sent. Sorry but it is not fragile and prone to breakdowns. Its not Russian armor. Its American NATO equipment and works. Its been proven and tested for years.

    Why can’t the Russians at least take out the Neptune anti ship missiles being used against them? Or at least keep the Ukraine off the coast.
    And why can’t the ships defend against such basic home grown weapons?
    And why can’t Russian sailors put out simple fires on ships?

    ( I already know why)

  • P. Mo.

    A couple of comments.

    (1) On Ukrainian losses. While I have little doubt the Ukrainian losses are higher than the government claims, there is no way they are close to Russian losses. The Russians have been using really inferior tactics which result in significant losses, and the 15,000-20000 range of Russian casualties would be expected. On the Ukrainian side, they are more dug in, using hit and run tactics, and sound tactical planning. I’m going to guess its somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000.

    (2) On Mariupol. Russian supporters have lamented the refusal to surrender by the city’s last defenders. That’s never going to happen. Avostal has lots of supplies, and they will keep fighting. They remember what happened in 2014, when the UAF and Russians agreed to a ceasefire, only to have the Russian’s massacre the withdrawing UAF soldiers. They are going to fight to the death rather than surrender. Its Ukraine’s alamo. Not only that, but strategically its important to continue to hold out. Russia had about 12 BTGs in Mariupol. They’ve shifted 5-6 north to the Poposna axis since surrounding Avostal, but there are still 6-7 BTGs in Mariupol trying to keep the defenders bottled up. That’s 6-7 BTGs that are being kept from being re-deployed.

    (3) On Ukrainian artillery capability. Ukraine had, at the outset, a rather large stockpile of soviet era artillery ammunition. Due to use, that stockpile has been reduced to very little. NATO members have been scouring the world trying to buy up whatever is out there. This is why the US, French and other NATO artillery contributions have been critical.. Once the switch is made, NATO standard 155mm artillery rounds are plentiful and Ukraine will be using it extensively again.

    (4) On Air Superiority. Russia’s airforce has largely been a non-factor. With the exception of Mariupol and stand off missiles launched from the black sea, Russian or Belarussian airspace, Russia hasn’t been using air assets over Ukraine. Ukraine’s air defences have been pretty robust. Russia has lost 25 combat aircraft. Ukraine still has some fighter jets to scramble in defence. The Russian air force is largely afraid to operate over Ukraine. On the other side of the equation, Ukrainian helicopters have attacked locations in Russia, UkAF Su-27’s did substantial damage to Russian positions on Snake Island just a couple of days ago, and Bayrakter drones are destroying many Russian vehicles every day.

    (5) On this statement: “However, with the fall of Popasna the Russians are very close to having a large segment of the Ukrainian forces in Donbas surrounded”. Umm.. have you looked at the map? If you’re referring to encirclement by linking the Popasna with those around Yampil. We’re talking a distance of 43 kilometers. To take Popasna they had to take a total of 10km. Since the Russians started the pivot to the Donbass, they’ve only managed to take about 15 km in the Yampil axis, 10 km in the Popasna axis and 20km on the Izium axis. They are not moving fast, and they are taking a lot of casualties. And it also ignores that repeatedly in this war the Ukrainians have escaped encirclement before it closed, the only exception being Mariupol.

  • Biglar

    In modern warfare it is not necessary to have forces linked up to have the enemy effectively surrounded. With Popasna taken and the river crossing that occurred to the north, the Russians are only a few kilometers from establishing full fire control over all escape routes for the Ukrainian army to the north and east of Popasna. Some Ukrainians may still be able to extract themselves after this occurs, but only at a heavy cost in men and materials and without any heavy equipment. But ISW has stated that the Russians lack the ability to do this, in which case you would be correct. We shall see.

  • pzatchok

    Never box your enemy in if you want him to leave, You just force him to fight to the last man instead of falling back and regrouping.

    When your enemy is willing to leave an area you threaten to surround let them leave in good order. They will do it more often later when they trust you will let them.

    Treat any prisoners well so your enemy will be more disposed to becoming prisoners.

    It takes 4 to 6 times as many units to surround a single enemy unit. Who is keeping who in place and occupied.

    And what is Russia doing?
    Breaking all the rules thinking they are winning and making friends.

  • Realist

    The Fall of the Azov by Jacob Dreizin (23 min)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jm3AqnL2rQ

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