Ukraine War Day #222: More Ukrainian Success; But The Numbers Don’t Lie

Dear Readers:

Over the weekend the Ukrainians continued their multiple counter-offensives and achieved notable success on two major fronts: (1) Continuing from the Liman bridgehead to attack the new Russian defense line at Kremennaya; and then, even scarier, (2) A major push at Kherson, this time from an unexpected direction. Let us discuss.

I have this piece by reporter Alexandra Yudina about the LPR fighting. Continuing with their new mode of maneuver warfare, Ukrainian forces continued on from Liman, rushing through Torskoe, and are now pounding at the door of Kremennaya, which is well within the actual LPR border. Here is the map showing what is where:

After taking Liman, Ukraine/NATO advanced to Torskoe and then continued on to Kremennaya.

Andrei Marochko is an officer in the LPR People’s Militia. Appearing on an episode of the TV talk-show Solovyov Live, he explained what is happening: The Ukrainians are engaging, successfully, in a NATO brand of combined-group maneuver warfare, using their massive superiority in infantry numbers. Meanwhile, the Russian/Allied forces, after pulling out of Liman, set up their next defense line on the outskirts of Kremennaya. “Things are getting pretty hot there,” Marochko admits. The Ukrainians are blasting the city with every type of artillery they have, so the local residents have been driven to hide in basements and bomb shelters.

The obvious goal of the Ukrainians, should they succeed in taking Kremennaya, is to proceed on to Svatovo and Starobelsk.

Next: Just yesterday evening and night, Ukrainian/NATO forces broke through a thin Russian defense line on the Right Bank of the Dniepr River, and swarmed in the direction of Kherson. This map shows where they broke through, at a town called Zolotaya Balka, after which moving rapidly on to Dudchany:

The back-story: For a couple of weeks, the Ukrainians had been probing Russian defenses near the town of Davydov Brod (=”David’s Ford”), which I show in purple, above. The Russians had set up their main defense perimeter there. But these Ukrainian probes turned out to be a feint. The Ukrainians suddenly (and unexpectedly) broke through a very thin line at Zolota Balka instead. Using their now-familiar tactics of massive infantry and light armor, out-running Russian long-range artillery.

The Russian troops kept falling back; within hours the Ukrainians had taken Dudchany and then kept dashing onward and upward. As of this morning, Zelensky claims they have taken Arkhangelsk. Looking at the map below, I hope I have marked the correct Arkhangelsk. The problem with the Ukrainians is that they give the same name to multiple towns, even within the same Oblast. Very confusing.

Zelensky claims the Ukrainians got as far as Arkhangelsk.

Anyhow, should the Ukrainian/NATO troops eventually take Kherson, then the Russian troops will be forced to retreat across the river, back to the Left Bank, and then hunker down to defend Crimea herself. What would be truly unfortunate about this, is that the Ukrainians would once again be able to block the supply of fresh water into Crimea. That was the whole point why Kherson was so important to the Russian side.

I have this piece, by that same reporter, Alexandra Yudina. Deputy Head of Kherson Oblast, Kirill Stremousov, concedes that the Ukrainian soldiers are moving quickly along the river, and yet they received some “lullabies” from Russian bombers. Stremousov: “The Nazis broke through to a certain extent, but our defenses are doing their job without any signs of panic.” He went on to advise pro-Russian social media to tamp down the hysteria, because the entire Russophile internet is currently running around in circles shrieking like Chicken Little with his head cut off. “This is not Kharkov,” Stremousov intones sternly. “This is not Liman. We are holding our own.”

If you click on the short 30-second video, you can see Stremousov standing in front of the Antonov Bridge and reassuring people that the bridge still stands, it is whole, the defense is doing its job, and everything is going to be fine. [Cross fingers!]

Great Flaring Ukrainian Black Hole Continues To De-Militarize NATO

Well, as far as battles go, you win some; you lose some. Sometimes you even have to sacrifice major cities, like Moscow to Napoleon. Still, looking at the bigger picture, the numbers don’t lie. Russia may be stumbling a bit right now, that’s true. But when it comes to NATO, this war is simply unsustainable.

Case in point: I have this piece by reporter Alyona Zadorozhnaya. Her source is an analyst named Malek Dudakov, who studies American affairs.

Malek Dudakov

Dudakov: “Since March the USA has donated to Kiev 840,000 shells of calibre 155 mm. If you take into account the number of such shells that they need for their own training, the Pentagon, realistically, does not have any left. In America the annual production of these shells does not exceed 30,000 pieces. This is the same amount that Ukraine burns through in the course of two weeks.

“By the same token, the U.S. is experiencing a rocket famine. Kiev already received 8500 Javelins. Which was practically the entire U.S. reserves. Moreover, it would take the States no fewer than 10 years to re-supplement these supplies. Given that the States produce only no more than 800 rockets annually.”

This is the reason why, in recent tranches to Ukraine, there were no 155-mm howitzers/shells; and also no Stingers nor Javelins. “Therefore, they had to fall back to a lesser calibre of artillery, 105 mm, and more stress laid on the HIMARS. However, even the HIMARS are now listed in Pentagon documents as being depleted.

“In the most recent packet of military aid to Ukraine, the USA promised them 18 HIMARS. But not right away, only in the course of 2 years, which is how long it will take to produce them. And only then as replacements for the ones they lost. And this is the best-case scenario. Because they are running short of rare-earth metals; this problem has already caused them to halt the production of F-35 fighters.

“American military experts, in an interview with CNBC say that it will not be possible to increase military production without converting to a war economy. As it is the American Military-Industrial Complex is unable to keep up with orders. Nor is it able to satisfy the needs of Ukraine, where America’s arsenal of democracy is rapidly being depleted.”

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17 Responses to Ukraine War Day #222: More Ukrainian Success; But The Numbers Don’t Lie

  1. Montmorency says:

    “As it is the American Military-Industrial Complex is unable to keep up with orders”
    And this is it.
    Europe and the U.S. are a pale shadow of what they once were. Both civil and military manufacturing (the latter is a consequence of the former) have been systematically destroyed.
    Almost no one in the West realizes this. In Russia they do, and what they’ve been doing for the last few months is to deplete our stocks. Ukraine was supposed to grin and bleed Russia; the exact opposite is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michaeldroy says:

    The strange thing is that I have long argued that Russia media is far more unbiased than western media, which is largely controlled by the elites.
    (The confusion being that Russian media reject the lies of the Rules based order as much as Putin does which confuses western observers who have been convinced that… oh well).
    And now I am quite sure that the negative press coverage of Russia current war efforts is entirely manipulated by the MOD. Are they doing that by command and control methods or by just stirring the likes of Kadyrov to complain and not responding? Not sure.


    • yalensis says:

      My personal opinion: I don’t think there is much conspiracy there, or manipulating of the Russian media. (Other than certain rules of conduct; I notice they are not quite as open now when it comes to reporting about the war.) Russian MSM is mostly honest, I think. They have reported defeats as well as victories. The comment sections are still filled with Ukrainian trolls, from what I can see. Like I said, I think there is a tad more censorship and more discretion, about the battlefield stuff.


  3. Sacha says:

    Все будет хорошо…. I love my russian friends and they really believe in a special destiny for Russia. But at some point, improvising or lack of means for the assigned task makes it more complicated to believe that all will be good. I think we had two major strategies that were conflicting. The soft one based on the principle that reason will prevail in Kiev or Washington.and limited means was interpreted as inability to fight. Like Russia would be an easy prey for Washington who even didn’t hesitate to support a decolonize Russia seminary and several indigenous groups led by a Shor.. so the second approach now has to become reality: only strength matters but it needs full scale means. We see entire trains full of tanks or islander vehicles but it will take some weeks to be operational. So the guys on the ground have the hard task to hold the lines, extend their supply lines, resist and use them but at the cost of some withdrawal. How long will they keep being outnumbered ?praying for the guys ! I think the mod leaves the issue of the casualties of lnr dnr forces open to speculation which of course sounds legitimate but it makes people on social network playing a guess game which is not a good pr strategy for sure. Let’s see what’s unfolds


    • yalensis says:

      Russia may have a special historical destiny, but when it comes to war, I think numbers always trump destiny! In other words, it is perfectly conceivable that the bad guys could win, if they are not careful.

      I recall reading somewhere, Frederick the Great was once told, maybe by a priest, that “God is on our side.” To which he replied, allegedly: “God is on the side of he who has the most regiments!”


  4. John Thurloe says:

    And the United States Army officially has in its ranks 100,000 service personnel categorized as “undeployable”. Meaning they are (mostly) too fat to fight.


    • Beluga says:

      And, apparently, according to nakedcapitalism comments today, many are functionally illiterate. The US armed forces are the employers of last resort. The recent army recruitment drive came up short of numbers required, but the navy and air force squeaked through. Great, the podunks from Peoria are all set to march victoriously across the great steppes of Asia spreading truth and light when the time comes. Gronk.


      • yalensis says:

        A modern soldier is not allowed to be illiterate. You could be fat, I think, but you still have to be able to read a computer screen and peck at a keyboard, even if it’s with just one finger. Minimum requirements!


        • Beluga says:

          There is a difference between functional illiteracy and being able to tap a keyboard key. It’s the ability to comprehend meaning in a sentence, or write a paragraph on your life. Many a four year old can “run” an iPhone, to the delight of mothers who think their offspring are geniuses. But those tots are not literate.

          My dear old Mum spent decades teaching older people how to read and write as a volunteer. In my country, estimates run as high as 38% of adults afflicted in this way. And it doesn’t mean that such people are necessarily stupid — many have developed all sorts of ways of disguising their inability. And they are embrrassed about it, so only the brave face the world squarely and seek help.

          So, don’t agree with you. Here’s a primer — have a gander:


          • yalensis says:

            Thanks, I agree with you. I just meant that typing cohesive sentences into a computer, like I am doing now, when I write my blog, requires literacy. But I forget sometimes that modern devices like phones and tablets (if they use those to operate military software) maybe don’t require as much literacy since they use a lot of visual icons instead of words. I may be old-fashioned, but I always feared that the advent of icons, emoticons, and single-thumb texting (instead of full-keyboard typing) would decrease, rather than increase, literacy! I myself regard those things with horror.


  5. the pair says:

    which is what happens when you shift your “economy” from actually making things for the world to financial voodoo that benefits a few dead-eyed yuppies. welcome to the united states of patrick bateman. thanks reagan! (and bushes and clinton…and thatcher for those in what’s left of the “UK”.)

    the ukies and their NATO/CIA handlers seem to have settled on the “swarm of wasps” tactic which is fine until someone grabs a can of raid. the gains aren’t sustainable for the reasons you mention but also basic stuff like food, water, winter approaching and basic morale. i doubt the average conscript feels “successful” when he saw 20 of his friends turned into a rob zombie movie so they could take a town of 20,000.

    i read this last night and was SHOCKED!…that livejournal still exists.

    the tl;dr being that, yes, the UAF have had these isolated break throughs and – as you’ve mentioned – they have some strategic value but this is after russia just added 4 regions made up of MILLIONS new citizens with peaceful referenda that bottomed out in the high 80th percentile. i believe one was reported at ~98%…?

    so ukraine has small gains in war and russia makes huge gains in peace. that said, i’d guess kadyrov is the “id” of the average ruskie soldier and after getting some rest via reinforcements they’ll probably be ready to put a period on the end of this story. after all, russia DOES still make things.


  6. Ben says:

    Sorry, but I’m just no longer buying any of the arguments that their military infrastructure is so compromised that they can’t maintain their momentum. Because they keep maintaining it. And as days turn to weeks, and perhaps into months, of them conducting offensives, that entire narrative will become increasingly untenable for me. If they don’t clearly run out of steam soon, I’m going to become convinced that they aren’t going to, for whatever reason. The fuel (and I particularly always return to this, because Ukrainian troops shouldn’t even be able to move at all) and shells are clearly being found, somewhere.


    • yalensis says:

      Where the Ukrainians are getting their fuel from is, indeed, a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes. For sure the Americans are getting it to them. But how?


  7. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    It doesn’t f***ing matter what losses the Ukrainians are taking unless a large enough force is committed to reverse their gains and exploit their weaknesses. Until the government starts fighting to win the Ukrainians can just keep chipping away at what was achieved since February. In fact, the Ukrainians should just rush for Belgorod and have done with it – why should the government be less callow and feckless in defending Belgorod than in defending Izyum?


  8. The Inimitable NEET says:

    As was noted on another website, the most dangerous moment in a military operation is NOT the initial offensive, but the counter-offensive that follows against the weakened foe who kickstarted it. Some people have hypothesized that the Russians will begin their moves in late autumn/early winter, owing to the fact the army is well-trained and comfortable in winter conditions (the memes are always about invading, not attacking from, Russia). The reports of heavy equipment being moved into the annexed oblasts in September instead of mid-winter would buttress this notion.


    • yalensis says:

      Yup. The signs and portents (movement of troops and heavy equipment, including columns of Iskanders) point to a Russian counter-counter-offensive. At some point, hopefully soon.


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