Ukraine War Day #219: Liman Sitrep: Critical

Dear Readers:

Reporter Alyona Zadorozhnaya has been covering the sitrep on the Liman front. She works for RIA News. I don’t think she is actually out there and embedded with units, like Kots (I could be wrong), but nonetheless for a couple of days now she has been reporting some critical and rather troubling news about the fighting. Liman (aka “Krasny Liman” aka “Red Liman”) is the only front where the Ukrainian counter-offensive has had some significant success. Here is her latest:

According to DPR Parliamentary Deputy Vladislav Berdichevsky: “In the region of Krasny Liman the situation is very serious and very complicated. Our troops find themselves factually in a kind of operative encirclement. Notwithstanding the fact that the Ukrainian side is suffering enormous casualties, they still continue to press forward.

Berdichevsky: “We need reinforcements NOW!”

“Judging by everything, it looks like they were given the assignment, on the day when DPR/LPR and also Kherson/Zaporozhie join Russia, to take this populated point (=Liman). This would prove to the West that they are still capable of carrying out a counter-offensive, and able to take territory back.

“Our guys, it goes without saying, are handling the pressure. But without reinforcements coming in, it’s very tough for them. Today we are expecting some serious reinforcements. The reserves should be coming in. No doubt that we will push the enemy back. This will all end badly for them, regardless.”

Earlier, DPR Head Denis Pushilin had confirmed that the Krasny-Liman direction of the front is the most difficult of all. He reaffirms that the Allied forces are holding the line, and once the reinforcements arrive, a break-through is expected.

War correspondent Alexander Kots paints a less-rosy picture and elevates the sitrep status from serious to critical:

“When it comes to Liman, unfortunately, the news is not good. The city is factually in operative encirclement. Ukrainian diversionary-recon groups (ДРГ) are crawling out onto the supply road to Svatovo. Part of this supply road is under the control of Ukrainian artillery. Towards morning Yampol factually passed into the grey zone, and our units were obliged to withdraw. In Drobyshevo our defense lines have been broken.”

According to military expert Andrei Prokopaev, the Ukrainian forces clearly aim to take Liman and then head North, breaking through into the Luhansk Oblast via Svatovo and Starobelsk.

[yalensis: If the Ukrainians can take back at least a chunk of Luhansk, this would increase their bargaining power, if there were to be peace talks.]

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15 Responses to Ukraine War Day #219: Liman Sitrep: Critical

  1. michaeldroy says:

    The basics of demilitarisation is to kill or seriously wound Ukrainian troops at low levels of Russia casualties. Gaining or even keeping territory is not the goal and is often contrary to that goal.
    By the sound of it Liman is a roaring success. As it was in Kherson. As it was even around Kharkov.

    Too many people are falling for the western propaganda.
    1. The Russian goal is to gain territory (well we know it isn’t and there isn’t much Ukrainian territory anyone wants left other than Odessa).
    2. Russia would really want Ukraine on the run (NOOOO chasing Ukrainians all over W Ukraine, hiding amongst civilians, firing Himars long distance against Russians and civilians, Russians having to fight from areas where pro-Kiev civilians are in the majority and might sabotage them).
    3. Advances is proof of winning (No – advancing is proof of throwing in more people than the other side.)

    Ukrainian up front fighting within the range of Russia’s totally dominant artillery is a huge cost paid by Ukrainian families but not Nato. It plays entirely into Russian hands.

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    Peace talks. Forget peace talks – there can only be peace talks when rump Ukraine has a credible government that can be trusted not to immediately commence re-armament and restart the ATO civil war murders begun in 2014, restarted after Minsk1 and turned into a Suicide by Super Power attempt in 2022. By the time that happens Poland may be the EU vehicle to economically rescue Rump Ukraine.

    An internal military coup is the best chance, but it appears that US advisers to promote Nazis and control normal military have prevented that. The desertion in 2014 of most of the better quality, experienced and senior military to the Rebels also makes it unlikely. (In the last free elections pro-Russian parties won; the Ukrainian army had long Soviet connections; even before the Kiev controlled army started attacking E Ukrainian civilians it is quite clear that many many Ukrainian 2014 military would have gone over to the rebels or at least deserted. )

    Moreover what Western country can guarantee good behaviour by Ukraine? US? UK? Poland? The Minsk sponsors Germany and France?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. daniel_s says:

    The idea of even more people potentially exposed to Ukraine-style “filtration” is disturbing-
    This writer
    thinks that with winter coming, the force balance will decisively change in favor of RF.
    Let’s hope he’s right with his analysis.


    • yalensis says:

      This is a pretty good analysis, and rings true to my internal clock. I particularly like this paragraph:

      One of the more fascinating aspects of the war in Ukraine is the extent to which Russia has contrived to attrit NATO military hardware without fighting a direct war with NATO forces. In a previous analysis I referred to Ukraine as a vampiric force which has reversed the logic of the proxy war; it’s a black hole sucking in NATO gear for destruction.

      Ukraine as a vampiric force, that’s a great analogy! And just like a vampire, it mind-controls its human hosts. The hosts being NATO, and so we get confused who is controlling whom.


  3. The Inimitable NEET says:

    Note: this opinion is purely from an optics standpoint, not a logistical or strategic one.

    I do think it behooves Russian military command to end the Ukraine counter-offensive at Liman, regardless of what incremental casualties the remaining garrison can inflict on UAF forces encircling them. One of the more lasting impressions the General Staff should’ve received from the Kharkiv oblast is that the public perceives and digests military matters in binary terms. From a Clausewitzian standpoint, it was a resounding success…but the vast majority of eyeballs trained on the operation aren’t military analysts. It doesn’t matter if 100 Ukrainians are killed for every Russian, if they turn every piece of artillery and operational vehicle into melted slag. Popular approval for military strategy will still be based on the broadest takeaways (Did “we” lose territory? Did “we” conclusively lose men to accomplish it? Did it cost us stuff?).

    Capturing the Liman garrison or confirming their demise would be spun as a major coup by UAF propaganda outlets. Conversely, Russia military command would be internally castigated for abandoning the frontline heroes when they needed help the most. This would inflame right-wing cries for the SMO to kick into high gear and be taken over by leaders who aren’t susceptible to acedia. Putin has made it a staple to manage public expectations and avoid external pressure to move the SMO’s timetable forward. Regardless of whether the General Staff’s overall strategy is succeeding or not, he does need to provide proof of success that’s intelligible to his audience.


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, NEET, I agree with you. It would have been horrible optics for the Ukrainians to take Liman and round up thousands of POW’s, just when Putin was delivering his big speech. I rather nervously opened my internet this morning, feeling somewhat like Schrödinger cleaning his cat box.

      Seems like Allied forces are still holding on in Lyman, but I can’t be really sure. The tea leaves are murky.
      Was half expecting to see that Allied forces had been forced to move back to a more stable defense line. Which maybe would be the correct move, from a purely military POV. But was dreading the Ukrainian glee.

      Yesterday all the pro-Uke channels were dancing around and gloating that they do their best work (taking territory) at night. Since, so they say, they have really cool NATO night-goggles which Russians supposedly don’t have.

      I don’t know if that is true or not (I mean, the bit about Russians not possessing night-vision technology.)


      • The Inimitable NEET says:

        “I don’t know if that is true or not (I mean, the bit about Russians not possessing night-vision technology.)”

        I somewhat doubt it. Fact is, it’s just easier for troops to circumvent artillery and aerial strikes at nighttime versus daytime against a static line of defense. It is also somewhat of an admission that UAF forces are fairly shit at head-to-head combat.


  4. John Thurloe says:

    William Schryver at imetatronink ( advances this notion: ” I remain persuaded the Russian high command intentionally weakened their line in this particular area in order to entice the NATO commanders of this newly created army to attack precisely where they did, and then to deliberately lead them into the triangular pocket defined by the two rivers, as described above.”

    Those crafty Russkies! “Hey Ukies. Come get this big steak over here. Nice doggie”.


    • yalensis says:

      I wish that were true. But I prefer to look reality straight in the eye, however unpleasant it may be. Maybe because I am a programmer by profession.
      Poorly written code produces bugs which crash systems.
      The solution is to find the bug and fix it.
      Not pretend there was not a bug.


      • John Thurloe says:

        I don’t how your response adresses my point. Which is that or to what extent Russia may have enticed a Ukri attack at a desireable location. This is worth consideration if there is supporting evidence. I don’t know, the balance of things is uncertain but this is plausible. And smart.


        • yalensis says:

          Maybe I misunderstood, John. I thought you were positing that the Russians set Liman as a trap for the Ukrainians, and only pretended to retreat, as part of a cunning plan. I wish that were so, but I don’t think that was what happened. I think the Russians were simply outnumbered and had to pull back.
          My main point being that the Russian High Command should fix the root cause of this problem, i.e., not having enough soldiers in the infantry.
          Which I reckon they are finally doing by having this mobilization. But sadly it came a bit too late to secure previous gains in Izyum and Liman.

          But better late than never, I reckon.


          • John Thurloe says:

            I agree with you that Russia has not commited sufficient forces to this venture. Lollygagging the business. Now, they may finally decide to show up for the engagement. In the case of Liman they are certainly outnumbered but that could have been remedied quickly. Re-inforcements could have been quickly introduced. Why were they not hurried forward? Which leaves room for the thought the Russian command may have taken the opportunity – at least – to entice the fools to rush in further for a better beating. I have seen video of [allegedly] long train columns of heavy Russian gear in motion.


  5. Bilaal Abdullah says:

    I think you missed the Putin’s point…Tchaikovsky was not advocating for 72 genders and the right to administer gender modification hormones to children.


    • yalensis says:

      That’s true. Tchaikovsky was not advocating for such things. I don’t think he could have even imagined such nonsense. If I understand his biography, he just wanted people to leave him alone so that he could write beautiful music during the day, and then drink and bugger his way through the night.

      I have to say, though, that when it comes to the hormones issue: Medical professionals have been doing this sort of thing for decades, maybe people are not aware, a lot of these practices happen behind the curtain. Sometimes there are valid medical reasons to, say, delay puberty in a particular child. And grown women with access to hormones can see to it that they don’t have to worry about getting their period at an awkward time.

      It is also rumored that such practices have been going on in the “dark spaces” of elite sports. For example, little girl gymnasts, trying to keep their bodies small and trim (and no boobs) for as long as possible, right up to the age of 20 or so. After these kids retire from sports and decide they want to have children, then they can get off the hormones and start developing the necessary parts.

      People can rail all they want about Gomorrha and [that other place], but the one thing they can never stop is the advance of science: Artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, manipulation of hormones, etc., all of this goes against traditional religions, but none of it can be stopped. People will do it. Especially anything leading to fertility. These practices cannot be banned, because people, emotionally, will never concede to infertility if they think there is another way.


  6. John Thurloe says:

    Larry Johnson observes this morning (10.2.22) that Russia did not use it readily available air support in Liman. He allows that the Russians may be acting to draw the over-eager Ukies into a vulnerability. However, there appears to be considerable outrage at the seemingly poor conduct of the Russian forces in this business. Within Russia many voices are raised in criticism. Kadyrov has called openly for the removal of the commanders. When discussion moves to the level of this being something shameful, or incompetant or unprofessional – then Putin must act. And this must be decisive and quick. When even loyal Russians are contemptuous of their military conduct then this is dangerous ground.


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