Ukraine War Day #62: Now It’s The Letter O (continued)

Dear Readers:

Continuing with this account by Russian war correspondent Alexander Kots. Where we left off: Kots is embedded in a unit which started to move from Kupyansk into the Kharkov Oblast. Travel is tough, because the Ukrainians have blown up all the bridges on every river. Sometimes they have to search for a long time to find a place they can ford. The locals watch suspiciously as the Russian tanks lumber past. Some of the tanks continue to bear the old letter Z, others have the letter O. The letter O is a tactical symbol denoting the grouping of the Central Military Okrug, which was previously deployed along the Sumy direction of the front. It was actually in use before, so it’s not really so new, it’s just that nobody paid attention before, they were more focused on the letters V and Z.

This particular unit travelled East from Izyum to Kupyansk, and from there is heading towards Kharkov.

This particular unit is now advancing on Kharkov.

“How do the locals regard you?” we ask one of the officers.

“Not bad,” he replies. “It all depends on the local government. For example, in Konotop, in the Suma Oblast, we contacted the Mayor and told him everything would be okay, we’d bring them humanitarian aid. Then he collected the locals onto the plaza and told them that if they didn’t accept our aid, we would bomb them. Immediately there was consternation. Certain so-called black witches recorded videos threatening us and cursing us with impotence. Then, out of Russia, certain so-called white witches made a video in response to that. It was both funny and sad at the same time. But here… we have a mutual understanding.”

Last week these troops from the Central Military Okrug had taken, in battle, the first populated point to the North of the former Donetsk Oblast — the town of Lozovoe.

“We spotted the enemy’s firing points and corrected our artillery. Our soldiers are showing a lot of bravery, and are moving forward with confidence,” I am told, with typical soldier’s clarity and laconicism by the commander of the one of the Intel groups of the 30th Motor-Rifle Brigade.

“How do you rate the enemy?” I ask him.

“They’re not fools. Here are there we sense some planning on their part. We notice the Soviet experience, combined with fresh equipment. But all the same we are inflicting big losses on them. The prisoners, for the most part, tell us that they didn’t want to fight, they were forced to fight. They say the Ukrainian Armed Forces (ВСУ) are employing so-called Rear-Defense units. The militants and border guards move forward in the vanguard, the Rear-Defense holding the rear; so the regular soldiers are trapped in between, they have no choice. If they tried to retreat, they would shot by their own people. There is no way but forward, and yet they don’t have the strength to move forward. They are stuck between the hammer and the anvil.”

Another one of the scouts chimes in, he is the Deputy Commander of his scouting unit: “Whenever we entered a city, we would encounter a huge number of explosive mines placed in defensive structures. We would fight, overcome the enemy, chase him away, he would withdraw another 5 kilometers to the next populated point. I would say the situation is stable, the fighting spirit is high, morale is good. My guys were shot at from artillery in the neighboring village, they were absolutely bombarded with mortars. But, in spite of that, using the features of the landscape, we were still able to move forward. And we were able to fortify ourselves in Lozovoe. The enemy left that place in a hurry, leaving behind a lot of weapons and technology, and other property.”

A couple of kilometers from Lozovoe, our troops have deployed several batteries of of 122 mm Howitzers of the D-30 type. Artillery of the Second Guard Army is supporting the infantry offensive. Just 3 days ago, under direct fire, they were able to move forward 2.5 kilometers. Yesterday – already 7 kilometers. Today – 11. The enemy is slowly retreating into the future giant cauldron into which Kiev’s entire Donbass grouping risks falling into, if they are not able in time to abandon their positions.

[to be continued]

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1 Response to Ukraine War Day #62: Now It’s The Letter O (continued)

  1. Pingback: Apr 27, 2022 | Situation Report: The World

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