Ukraine War Day #195: News From The Front

Dear Readers:

Scanning the news, trying to figure out how that Ukrainian counter-offensive is working out for them… If you read the pro-Ukrainian sources (or American Newsweek, for example) then it’s going great, Ukrainian army is conquering swathes of territory and bravely planting their flag while blowing up Russian ammo depots right and left. Russian soldiers are in retreat everywhere, more and more demoralized by the day. Especially those troops trapped on the Right Bank of the Dnieper, cut off from supplies and slowly going mad from anxiety and fear; some even mutinying and refusing to fight.

According to Russian news, though, it’s more or less the other way around. I have this piece by reporter Darya Volkova, who interviews a man named Mikhail Onufriyenko. Who is an ethnic Ukrainian but pro-Russian military analyst and blogger, residing (if I am not mistaken) in Sebastopol.

Military analyst Mikhail Onufriyenko

Onufriyenko: The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) started the battle for Kherson in 10 different directions. But after a week of clashes, active fighting only continues on two directions. And even those two have not borne any particular fruit for the attacker.

In the past week the UAF has lost, at a minimum (killed and wounded) two mechanized brigades, with an overall loss of over 300 armored vehicles. Such losses cannot be made up for even with new shipments from the West, neither during the next month, nor even through the end of the year. Ukraine’s partners simply don’t have enough equipment to reinforce them in such quantities.

Given such tremendous losses in manpower and equipment, the battle for Kherson could be deemed a mindless slaughter.

Turning to the battlefield itself, the UAF initially undertook a series of offensives in ten different directions simultaneously, from the southern-most reaches of the Bug River, Nikolaev in other words; all the way up to the region of Vysokopolye. Today the clashes continue only in two of these arenas.

The enemy was able to make his farthest moves in the Andreevsky area of the Sukhoi Stavok region. On Friday the UAF was even able to enter the town of KarlMarx-sky (Shchastlivoe). But then was tossed out of there, and now controls only Sukhoi Stavok. Upon which [our side] are raining constant artillery bombardments. There is also a battle going on for the populated town of Kostromka.

[yalensis amusing sidebar: I was watching Weeb Union’s channel a couple of days ago, he is a Danish blogger and doesn’t read Russian, so he has to rely a lot on google translate. Which is often hilarious with the Slavic place names. For example, they translated the name of the town Orekhiv as “Nuts”, which word (orekhi) does actually mean “nuts” in Russian/Ukrainian; and they translated Sukhoi Stavok as “Dry Betting”. Which is the actual meaning. Sukhoi does mean “dry” and Stavok does mean a bet, like placing a bet in a card game.]

Onufriyenko [continuing after that rude interruption]: The enemy has been able to move reinforcements into this area; however the quantity of reinforcements lessens with every day; so that in the past 24 hours they were only able to move in personnel, without armor.

What is the situation in the village of Sukhoi Stavok? Onufriyenko: You have to understand that this village consists of just a couple of streets, stretching for 800 meters, with a few houses on them. It used to have a population of 117 peaceful civilians, but they all left before the clashes began. Currently there is nobody there, except for the enemy. Yesterday our side bombed them from the sky. And now that village is nothing more than a graveyard. There are no more streets, no more houses, the Ukrainian soldiers are standing there in an open field.

To the north, in Vysokopolye and Olgino, fierce battles are raging. The enemy was able to seize a neighborhood of Vysokopolye and photographed himself planting the flag. However, he is stuck in just that one neighborhood.

Stremousov: “Kherson will ALWAYS be a Russian city!”

What is the situation with the bridges? Onufriyenko: We have satellite photographs of the Kakhovka Bridge. Looks like it has been pierced in at least two places [by Ukrainian HIMARS]. The Antonov Bridge in Kherson is not completely pierced through, but it has sustained so many [artillery] strikes as to make it unusable. Russian troops at Novaya Kakhovka and also in Kherson, were able to build pontoon bridges, via which they bring supplies to our groupings [on the Right Bank of the Dnieper].

Last word goes to Kirill Stremousov, Deputy Head of Kherson Administration: “The Ukrainian counter-offensive was a crashing failure. According to our information, the Ukrainian army lost up to 3,000 soldiers killed in action. And the same thing is going to happen to them, once we move on Nikolaev and liberate it from the Nazis. Kherson was, is, and will always be, a Russian city. I don’t care what anyone says, we will never allow Nazis in Kherson.”

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12 Responses to Ukraine War Day #195: News From The Front

  1. Liborio Guaso says:

    With these silly attacks and attacking the cities in Donest the West tries to keep the war alive and seeks to provoke Russia into attacking the Ukrainian cities so that they can exhibit Russian crime to the world to promote their isolation.

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    • michaeldroy says:

      Rather they seem to want to bring it to a rapid close.
      It would save so many lives if they just gave up.

      Clearly Kherson is a provocative trap – bait to draw out the Ukrainian forces so as to complete de-militarisation. It is vulnerable, on the wrong side of the river, and the pro-Russian version of the local administration declaring it will have a referendum is a wonderful trolling of Kiev (which hates the idea that anyone West of the Dnieper might actually vote to join Russia – the ultimate of all insults to Kiev).

      If Ukraine just wanted to drag this thing out, it would do nothing ahead of winter. It is not that Russia is very active right now (thought that may reflect excellent intelligence).

      I think that Western journalist have worked out that Russia has never attacked cities other that highly accurate attacks on single building with military staff in them. They have pretty much stopped reporting on Kiev claims of attacks on civilians because every time they visit the site they see evidence of a military presence,

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      • yalensis says:

        The latest news is that the referendum in Kherson has been postponed. I had heard rumors, but I just saw that confirmed today (by Stremousov).
        He cites security concerns, which I am sure are completely justified. I think it would make more sense to wait until the situation has stabilized, militarily.

        Westie press is gloating, of course, and claiming Ukie attacks have caused the Russians to postpone the referendum; which is probably somewhat true.

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  2. stephentjohnson says:

    It’s important to keep in mind two confounders here:
    1) It’s really not terribly clear who’s giving the orders here. We routinely hear that Zaluzhny or other Ukrainian figures are overruled by Ze and company, but who’s really giving the orders. If I had to bet, I’d say it’s the US/UK/NATO sponsor governments – some possibly shifting mix of military, spooks and civilian powers.
    2) Even if we knew the answer to 1), it’s not clear what those individuals actually believe about the war. They may be convinced that Russia is about to fall apart, just one more push and the tanks will be rolling to Moscow. I suspect they all live in an echo chamber where the idea that failure is even possible is literally inconceivable. (Don’t forget, we might, also, though I don’t think so)
    Given those two considerations, I think predicting the decision making process is nearly impossible. The Kherson offensive looks like desperation from where I sit, but it may smell like the offensive that will turn this thing around to whoever is making the decisions.
    It’s a bit weird, eh?

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    • yalensis says:

      Those are good points, Stephen. I think the American/EU and NATO leaders do indeed live in an echo chamber.
      I don’t think we (pro-Russians) live in an echo chamber, at least not as much. It’s true that we tend to look for information that confirms our biases or even just our sense of how reality works. But on the other hand, I think we are more exposed to the other side and able to take their talking points into account; whereas they never listen to anybody else, except their own!

      Liked by 1 person

      • peter moritz says:

        “But on the other hand, I think we are more exposed to the other side and able to take their talking points into account; whereas they never listen to anybody else, except their own!”

        And that is how a relative of my wife, a person of above regular intelligence with an academic degree perceives Russia:

        Die russische Regierung lässt täuschen, tricksen, einsperren, foltern. töten. Es gibt nur Lügen und verdrehte Sachverhalte
        Putin hat Teile seiner Kriegsziele erreicht, etwa 20 % der Ukraine besetzt bzw. dem Erdboden gleichgemacht, die Bewohner deportiert.
        In der Ukraine brennt ein rückwartsgewandter, faschistischer Diktator das Land nieder.

        The Russian government has people deceived, tricked, imprisoned, tortured and killed. There are only lies and twisted facts
        Putin has achieved some of his war goals, occupied or razed about 20% of Ukraine, and deported the residents.
        In Ukraine, a backward-looking fascist dictator is burning down the country.

        No context, uncritically buying what he gets served by the media of NATO land.

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  3. Montmorency says:

    I keep remembering Putin’s recent words: “we didn’t start anything serious yet”.
    If Russia puts 1 million of their finest in action, along what is already in Ukraine, they’ll s̶h̶o̶p̶ stop in Berlin.

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  4. Nikolai says:

    stavok doesn’t mean bet. stavKA means bet, while stavok, i assume, is some fishing accessory. we have a similar word in my far eastern region.

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