Ukraine War Day #223: Holding The Line

Dear Readers:

Yesterday we talked about Ukrainian successes in two areas of their counter-offensive operations. Outnumbered, the current job of Russian forces is mostly to hang in there and hold the defensive lines while reinforcements are being trained. More men and equipment on the way!

Stay calm, the cavalry is on the way!

I have this piece by our team of plucky girl reporters Darya Volkova and Alyona Zadorozhnaya, here is my translation of their lede:

Using their definite numerical superiority, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) are applying pressure in two direction: Kherson and Luhansk. In the course of [yesterday, Monday], Allied forces successfully repelled all of these attacks.

[yalensis: If this bloody war were an innocent basketball game, then one would have to say that the Russian side are tenaciously guarding their net, but not yet in a position to advance on the other team’s net.]

On the Kherson counter-offensive: Regional Administrator Vladimir Saldo reports that Ukrainian troops were stopped, and destroyed, near the town of Dudchany. Their goal, clearly, is to attack and destroy (if they can) the Hydroelectric Energy Complex in the city of Kakhovka.

On the Luhansk front: yesterday LPR Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaly Kiselev reported that UAF forces, following up on their recent successes after Liman, had attempted to push through to the oil-refining factory in Lisichansk. However, they were pushed back. Street battles are currently raging in the regions near Kremennaya; whereas the cities of Lisichansk, Rubezhnoe and Svatovo are under Ukrainian rocket attack.

LPR Militia Commander Andrei Marochko

Andrei Marochko, who is an officer in the LPR militia, related how his guys used classical military cunning to stop the Ukrainians at the gates of Lisichansk. LPR commanders had studied the [recent] Ukrainian tactic [which they seem to have learned from NATO] of rapidly advancing waves of infantry, storming ahead of and quickly separating from, their armored columns. On this occasion, countering with classical Mongol tactics (which medieval Russians learned from their Mongol partners), LPR troops pulled back and waited. Ukrainian infantry pushed across the Luhansk Oblast border and entered Lisichansk. Meeting no resistance and thereby emboldened, the Ukrainians advanced quickly, increasing the distance between themselves and their supporting armored columns.

Soon to be greeted by Russian combined forces, who had formed a sort of mini-cauldron (which they call a “fire basket”) for their new friends. As we speak, the Ukrainian soldiers are trapped inside this “basket” wherein they struggle, under fire from three sides. Marochko: They advanced about 2 kilometers into our territory, they did this so that Zelensky could joyously announce his military victories; while keeping silent about the fact that he has sent them to a certain death.

Mikhail Onufriyenko

The reporters consult with Mikhail Onufriyenko, a pro-Russian Ukrainian military analyst who has been following this war very closely. Like his friend Yury Podolyak, Onufriyenko has been critical of Russian lackadaisical attitudes, and the half-assed approach of the Russian leadership to this very important war.

Onufriyenko: These Ukrainian counter-offensive attacks can be stopped only by a mirror Russian counter-counter-offensive. [As opposed to just playing defense all the time.] During the time of the Special Operation, the enemy studied our tactics, was able to adapt and find ways to utilize his own strong points. “Above all, this is his numerical superiority. With this they are able to build a punching fist in any direction, fortifying it with Western technology, and thus deliver their blows.” Russians must similarly adapt to the enemy’s tactics and better employ its own strong levers: artillery, aviation and rockets. In this manner we can impede the enemy’s movements and cause him maximum harm at each approach.

“Moreover,” Onufriyenko adds, “it is imperative to introduce new technology into the war zone.” He also suggests that it might be a good time to start using heavy bombers: “We need to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure, systematically taking out their railroad polygons and other infrastructure objects that can be used by the UAF.”

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the very first Russian troops, from the first batch of conscription, have just arrived at the front. In Luhansk.

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16 Responses to Ukraine War Day #223: Holding The Line

  1. michaeldroy says:

    Thanks for these – it does seem some in Russia are starting to see the advantages of Ukrainian strategy.

    [yalensis: If this bloody war were an innocent basketball game, then one would have to say that the Russian side are tenaciously guarding their net, but not yet in a position to advance on the other team’s net.]
    Or if this were a football (soccer) match then one would say that Ukraine were 2-0 down in the first half, have got one back but will struggle for the last 30 minutes having had half their team sent off the pitch for reckless play.

    “Onufriyenko: These Ukrainian counter-offensive attacks can be stopped only….”
    Why would Russia want to stop them? Russia is playing man count, not goal count.

    “Russians must similarly adapt to the enemy’s tactics and better employ its own strong levers: artillery, aviation and rockets. In this manner we can impede the enemy’s movements and cause him maximum harm at each approach.”
    That seems to me exactly what Russia has been doing for 5 weeks now.
    Ukrainian attrition is horrendous, WW1.

    “We need to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure, systematically taking out their railroad polygons and other infrastructure objects that can be used by the UAF.”
    NOOO – keep them coming.

    Like

    • The Inimitable NEET says:

      I’d argue it’s important for public morale, both at home and in the Donbass, for Russia to conjure up some unequivocal victories. As I mentioned in a previous post, the course of this war would be fine if the military perspective was the only one that mattered. But you have to take into account the civilian one.

      Like

    • Anti-swastika says:

      “Keep them coming” how far? Is there any point where they should be stopped? I just read on RT “ Kartapolov said that Russia is also in danger today and that the enemy is already on Russian land, referring to Belgorod Region, where, he claims, nearly all villages bordering Ukraine have been destroyed, while the city of Valuiki is under constant fire from Kiev’s forces.” Is that far enough for you?

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Stremousov reports today that the Ukrainians attacking Kherson Oblast and taking various towns along the front line, are using quite a lot of NATO equipment, including “some kind of Turkish machines, some Turkish tanks.” He warns that the Ukrainian forces outnumber the Russians, “but our soldiers, our lads, are standing firm, they will fight to the death.”

        I don’t really like the sound of that, fighting to the death, I mean….
        😦

        Like

    • Montmorency says:

      That article is a very intelligent analysis.

      Like

    • Yes. Thank you very much for that link, Jan. It was excellent. I suspect that NATO’s inability to consider such a possibility is deeply rooted in the delusion that the Western allies defeated Hitler with only peripheral assistance from the Soviet Union. This is how most Americans, anyhow, view WWII — and it is completely contrary to fact.

      Like

  2. the pair says:

    i can only make wild guesses when it comes to the plans of shoigu and putin but i’m wondering if this “defense” lull is just buying time until all the reserves are 100% ready. maybe instead of risking a “staggered” counter-counter they want to wait until they can show the UAF a real onslaught that can be sustained deeper and deeper into ukie territory. any pauses give the UAF and their NATO handlers a chance to think. that’s one of the few reasons i can think of when it comes to the lack of air power and heavy weapon use thus far. the russians are tick tick ticking before a large “boom”.

    this was on martyanov’s site today:

    the cavalry, i suppose?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Yup, that’s the cavalry, yippee kai yai, m*ther-f*cker!

      I saw some other vids where a column of Iskander rockets were driving across the Kerch Bridge at top speed.
      Hmmm, I says to myself, what are they planning to shoot at with Iskanders?
      It’s a honest question, I don’t know the answer.

      Like

  3. The Inimitable NEET says:

    William Schryver reports that Ukrainian intelligence is concerned about the massing of forces in Belgorod, and the likelihood it can cut off the UAF’s advances through Kharkiv at operational depth. This is what I’ve been warning about since the Kharkiv offensive started last month. The Achilles’ heel of the UAF’s strategic approach is that it necessarily stretches itself thin to maintain frontline momentum and remains extremely weak to any counterattack.

    https://imetatronink.substack.com/p/maneuver-warfare

    However, I wonder if a certain amount of maskirovka is in play. What if portions of the 3rd Army Corps divert from their position in Mariupol and join their comrades in Kherson? This would allow their combined forces to create a beachhead toward Odessa at the same time the northern push cuts off the Oskil and makes reinforcement impossible.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      What you said!
      Under any circumstances, Ukrainian Nazis need to be deprived of Odessa.

      Liked by 1 person

    • michaeldroy says:

      Just read this – sounds great.
      Dima said something similar about Belgorod too.

      Odessa is necessary, but of course any attack on Odessa will lead to some horrendous attacks on civilians and I have little hope that it will get the reporting those civilians deserve for their sacrifices.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Are we talking about the same Belgorod? Belgorod is already a Russian city. I mean an established Russian city (not recently annexed). It’s to the North of Kharkov, just across the Russian border. Since the beginning of the war, the Ukrainians have been shelling it and attacking it, even though it’s in actual Russian (legacy) territory.

        Like

        • BM says:

          There seem to be huge columns of equipment massing in Belgorod (Russia) at the moment, so yes, I think it is the same Belgorod we are talking about. By the way, some of that equipment might seem like overkill for Ukraine and the sort of equipment it has – might be directed more at NATO, methinks. Like lots of seven-axle Topol M launchers for example – huge things.

          Like

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