BREAKING: Hell Breaks Loose as Kakhovka Dam Completely Destroyed
Major news broke that the Nova Khakovka dam has been completely destroyed. This is the central, extremely important dam that was critical to the whole Kherson situation last year. It was the sole reason Russia retreated, as the threat of destroying the dam kept their troops on the right/western bank of the Dnieper river highly vulnerable.
Footage has just released confirming the catastrophic destruction:
This photo is a geolocated confirmation:
Here were some of the previously forecasted consequences of such a break happening. Projected flooding of the river plains in Kherson region:
Now population centers are already being reported as flooding and mass evacuation orders being given.
An article written last year that spoke of the catastrophic consequences that could ensue if the dam were to be destroyed:
No one knows who destroyed it: Ukrainian analysts are saying Russia did it while Russians say it was the Ukrainians. However, the destruction did appear to come not long after a new wave of Russian cruise missile attacks launched by 6 Tu-95 bombers. Could Russia have destroyed the dam just as Ukraine began to kick off its large offensive, particularly since, as I wrote earlier, there were reports that Ukraine was trying to actualize a river crossing there?
It’s undecided who benefits and to whom it’s a detriment, as some believe that all Russian defenses on the eastern bank will be wiped away by the flood. However, the expanded river boundaries and elevated water levels would preclude Ukrainian crossing attempts, so it clearly seems to favor Russia there. We’ll have to wait and see how it develops as this is just breaking now, no pun intended.
One pro-Ukrainian’s sensible take on the situation, which may very well be accurate:
Ultimately, it’s probably impossible to fully model exactly what the damage will be, so we’ll have to simply wait and see how it unfolds before we can make much of an analysis, as right now everyone is just shooting from the hip and none of us are dam and flooding experts.
By the way, Kakhovka mayor Leontiev reportedly denied the dam was destroyed, calling it ‘nonsense’:
But multiple images appear to prove without a doubt that this is the dam:
Not to mention new videos are now dropping from on site, confirming it:
So unless some really crazy deepfake level CGI is being done, I don’t see how you can deny that.
Lastly, for anyone interested, here’s a very detailed breakdown of it from last year, modeling what could happen in such a scenario:
Civilians fleeing the rising floods:
Houses in Kherson region flooding:
One report states: According to statements, shelling of the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir last night was carried out from the Alder-2 MLRS, which caused damage to three spans and their subsequent collapse under water pressure.
For the North Crimean Canal, so far they report a decrease in the water level in the canal.
Update: Strange footage of mortars arriving at the dam after it had already broke. Recall that Russia is said to have controlled the dam, so any shots arriving at the dam would be from AFU’s side as Russia would not shell itself:
Notice that you don't hear any tell-tale characteristic whistling sound of artillery or mortar coming in, nor do you see anything drop. My suspicion is that these could be naval sea mines traveling down river and exploding when they hit the shore. Last year, this was the chief method by which Ukraine had planned to blow the Kakhovka dam. It was written about widely and they already had forward men stationed with cars carrying naval mines that they planned to drop into the Dnieper river upstream so that the mines would hit the dam and destroy it. This was the main reason Russian troops withdrew from Kherson after this threat and I even reported on it elsewhere last year, particularly about how Russia could defend against this with mine catching trawl/nets, etc.
I could be wrong but judging by those new videos it seems a possibility that Ukraine finally enacted the plan and sent mines down river to blow the dam and some of them are still exploding. We’ll have to wait for more footage to be sure, but it’s a possibility to me.
What do you think?
Now back to the regular programming I was in the middle of writing when the above story broke.
The offensive has finally kicked off. Or at least it’s ramping up, and these are the true first opening stages, rather than the oblique shaping operations characterizing the actions of the previous weeks, which have mostly occurred in diversionary zones in other parts of the country.
Today was the first truly brawny assault in exactly the expected break through zones of the ‘grand offensive’. Even MSM and luminaries like Kofman are saying they believe this is the beginning:
Keep in mind, I’m still skeptical of any ‘real’ offensive. I’ll call whatever they’re doing an ‘offensive’ as shorthand, simply so I don’t have to keep qualifying it each time. But in reality, I’m still of the mind that whatever they’re going to be doing over the next few weeks will be a series of abortive stop-start psyops with the intention of making a big splash on social media and the yellow press.
And now that such things are kicking off, I intend to more closely track the actual participating units at a more granular level. Before it didn’t matter as much, but now particularly it will shed light on the level of escalations if we can pin down if and when Ukraine actually commits the much-vaunted ‘Western-trained’ brigades which were the subject of the Pentagon leaks.
For now, it appears that a newly created Ukrainian 31st mechanized brigade of likely cannonfodder was employed as the frontal meat assault towards the Novodonetsk direction. I say this not out of derision but because they are a newly created force likely thrown together from new mobilized plus the dregs of other units destroyed in Bakhmut, etc.
There are a number of other units assisting them like the 23rd, and supposedly, the 37th marines which is the one unit from today’s operations that appeared in the elite list of the Pentagon lists. In the Pentagon leaks, their TO&E was written as comprising 14 x French AMX-10 tanks:
And in fact we did see the first several AMX-10s destroyed today:
We all initially mistook them for Leopard 2A4s but in fact it’s been confirmed they’re AMX-10s. However, there were high level reports that Leopards were in fact utilized for the first time, including a statement by Vostok commaner Alexander Khodakovsky. One report says Leopards were spotted here:
The Russian MOD did confirm that up to 3 AMX-10s were destroyed in today’s fighting. But they also claim that 8 Leopards were destroyed, as well as 1,500 infantry and over 100 armored units of various types (IMVs, IFVs, ICVs, APCs, etc.)
Many immediately balked at the ridiculously high number of 1,500 casualties. Some estimates were even higher—one reports had over 2,000 AFU casualties.
Prigozhin couldn’t sit still or quiet for a single day, he mocked the Russian MOD and claimed their numbers are bogus:
It is interesting though that the MOD’s AMX-10 numbers do line up with the actual visual evidence we have, and several videos were published showing dozens of AFU light vehicles being destroyed so the 100+ figure is definitely plausible. Ukrainian troops appear to use their light vehicles as disposable napkins—just drive them to the front and abandon them.
Here’s 5 of them damaged and abandoned:
And recall my report from days ago where I described how Russian rotary aviation is what will be the real killer against any Ukrainian armor advance. Those words were proven quite true today as videos from the start of the offensive were published showing Russian Ka-52s absolutely feasting on a conga line of UA light armor:
Note how they function just as I described last time. They’re able to hover above the treeline and calmly track the columns in FLIR view. The problem is, Ukrainian mobile AD units which trail with their columns would likely be several kilometers back, however their range is only about 5-8km max for something like a Humvee-mounted Avenger system with Stinger missiles. The Vikhr missiles on the Ka-52 on the other hand have around 10-12km range, allowing Ka-52s to pick off the armor columns unchallenged.
And this is a separate video showing UA Mraps being destroyed by Russian artillery in today’s assaults:
Russian MoD report from tonight: “During June 5, the enemy continued the offensive, concentrating the main efforts on Vremevka outpost in South Donetsk direction. - Having suffered heavy losses the day before, the Kiev regime reorganised the remnants of the 23rd and 31st mechanised brigades into separate combined units, which continued the offensive operations close to Novodarovka and Levadnoye. In addition, a new brigade was brought into the action in this area. - At the same time, the enemy launched an offensive in the direction of Oktyabrsky state farm and Novodonetskoye by the 37th Marine Infantry Brigade with the reinforcements based on the units of the AFU 68th Mountain Jaeger Brigade.”
As can be seen in the MOD’s above report, the famed 68th Jaeger brigade supposedly also assisted in the assaults. And if it’s true that the 37th Marines took part, that means we have confirmation of the very first of the ‘big 9’ brigades from the Pentagon leaks which were supposed to spearhead the long awaited grand counter-offensive. This is the first truly convincing clue that this may very well be the beginning as these 9 famed brigades were being held back in reserve and kept away from harm for a long time for this very moment.
On the Russian side opposing them was reportedly the 127th division. This is a Russian far east group from the Eastern Military District, which makes sense as this whole area appears to be manned by Russian eastern groups, such as the known 40th and 155th Pacific Fleet marines in the Ugledar area nearby.
Colonel Cassad’s report fills in some of the other groups participating:
" In the area of the "Vremievsky ledge" the enemy is trying to attack with the forces of the 23rd and 31st Bgds, in 3 directions: 1. Novopol-Novodarovka line - 23 bgd is advancing, with forces up to 1 BTG, with the support of up to 2 tank platoons 2. The Novoselka line - the Kurgan Grave Watchtower - 23 ombr is advancing, forces up to reinforced Mech Company, the goal is to master the dominant height. 3. The OTF line - the Shaitanka River - the 37 infantry regiment, with forces up to a platoon, the first attack was repulsed, 3 AFVs were destroyed, 2 AFVs managed to retreat. Also, in the Shakhtyorsk direction, the 37th infantry regiment with forces up to a Tactical group storms our defenses along the Zolotaya Niva - Novodonetskoye line. Previously, the enemy managed to gain a foothold on the northern outskirts of the settlement of Novodonetsk, in this case the battle continues, artillery and the Russian Aerospace Forces strike at the enemy. "
He references that newly-created 31st, as well as a 23rd and 37th marines.
The 37th is said to be elite and trained in the West, and is reportedly based on the 79th which is another well-known Ukrainian unit.
Here’s how the offensive actually went down:
The blue dots represent where some of the geolocated footage of the attacks/destruction of UA columns occurred. Velyka Novosilka is the large settlement on top. The main push and gains for UA ended up happening on the right wing towards Novodonetsk.
This map from Big Serge illustrates what the likely action will be. Many analysts believe the push near Ugledar, where Velyka Novosilka lies, is more of a feint/screening attack for the main axis which will be further west near Orokhov:
The reason this is believed is because as I’ve outlined in several previous reports, for instance with the detailed Rybar-sourced reports, much of the known Ukrainian consolidation points for their new brigades which have been steadily accumulating in the past few weeks are in that direction closer to Zaporozhye. So that is where it’s expected that their main shock fist will be. And as I understand it, that’s also where the bulk of the Russian defense forces are as well, waiting for them.
⭐️According to our estimates, the current strike of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Vremievsky ledge of the front is auxiliary. The enemy forces involved are insufficient for a deep breakthrough of the defense.
On the other hand, they are able to draw on their reserves and "defuse" our artillery, which is helping from the flanks.
The main enemy attack should still be expected to the west, on the main Orekhov-Melitopol line with a simultaneous attack on Vasilyevka. There the enemy concentrated the main reserves.
The situation is controlled by our fighters, the military command knows about the plans of the enemy. Time will tell how the enemy behaves in the conditions of his own offensive, for which the Russian Armed Forces have been preparing for months.
The enemy has already lost several tank platoons and up to three motorized infantry companies only killed.
Also, as per the map above, there were reports of attempted enemy action around Kherson and the river. Russia claimed to have shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 that was providing cover for a group of troops that was trying to make a landing across the river. But not only was the plane shot down, reports claim that the landing was repulsed.
Now, as to what did they achieve. The AFU claims that they fully took over Novodonetsk, which was the object of the main advance:
However, the reports had gone back and forth all day, with both sides claiming it was taken or wasn’t. And the last semi-trustworthy report I saw was that UA was able to embed themselves into a part of the settlement, but didn’t take the entire thing. So we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to really clear it up. As far as I’m concerned, it’s uncertain how much progress they actually made, if any.
What is certain, however, is that for whatever little progress they made, they suffered a lot of losses. Even if the Russian MOD’s casualty estimates are over-inflated, we have visual confirmation of a lot of armor losses/vehicle losses, as I posted in the videos above, for instance.
Another important thing that must be noted for people who might be panicking that UA was even able to advance toward a Russian-held settlement. If you take a look at this map of the known main Russian defense lines, you’ll note that Ukraine is no where near them yet:
This shows the infamously huge fortification lines Russia spent the last 6 months building all over Zaporozhye and Donetsk oblasts. They are the ones with the ditches, revetments, tank traps, dragon teeth, mine fields, multi-layered defense lines, etc.
Click on the map to make it bigger. See the circled green above to the west of Volnovakha? Those small red dots inside the circle are a bit further south than Novodonetsk, where the fighting took place. Novodonetsk may be roughly where the top of the green circle is.
My point is that, some Ukrainian reports claimed they “broke through the Russian defense line”, which is not true. Not only did they possibly gain a few hundred meters at most, but the line up there is just a fluid forward position, that’s not even close to the main defense line. The real test will be that famous line Russia spent half a year constructing. We’ll see if UA can even come close to it.
Assuming the fortification map is accurate, on a granular scale it would look something like this:
The red line would be Russia’s true main line of defense, and the blue above is where Ukraine slightly advanced a little north of Novodonetsk. So that’s to say the real gauge is that defense line there. If Ukraine were to breach that, then we might begin to worry; though it would depend, many analysts are expecting them to get much farther even than that line if they truly go “all out” in their offensive, but it would cost them gravely to do so.
Keep in mind, Russia also re-took the settlement of Neskuchne just at the southwestern tip fo Velyka Novosilka which was taken a day or two ago, so it’s questionable who even made more advances today.
These start-and-stop prank offensives did give me an idea about what AFU may be trying to do. You see, particularly ever since I wrote this piece months ago:
—I’ve been doubting Ukraine would really have the guts to go all out with their new Western gear. It’s all they have, so if they fail and lose most of it, it could be over for them. On top of which, what Western country would want to send them MORE of their precious arms if Ukraine proves that these prestige weapons don’t work on the real battlefield, and humiliates them by getting them destroyed by Russia? I doubt Germany would want to send more Leopards, or France Leclercs, UK Challengers, etc., once they see these tanks destroyed. It would be too embarrassing to keep sending them and proving their inefficacy on the world stage.
So my point is, the new idea for their ‘offensive’ I came up with, is it seems to me they want to probe Russian lines as much as possible with their ‘fodder’ and expendable brigades. And if they should find a weak spot that they can push through, they’ll pour in as much of their secondary units as possible. And only then, if the victory looks clearly tangible, and they’ve pushed Russian troops very far back, they’ll allow the special brigades with the Western armor to roll into the captured towns to basically take the credit, steal the limelight, and sell the victory as one achieved by the ‘miraculous’ wunderwaffen of Western armor.
This will allow them to lobby for much more arms, as they will have definitive “proof” for the Western Eurocrats that their tanks and arms are so special and effective. So this is all to say that, personally, I don’t expect to see these “special brigades” and their much-vaunted Western armor unless the frontal meat-shield vanguard makes serious breakthroughs somewhere on the Russian line. The ‘prestige’ weapons hiding in the rear will only be rolled up to the ‘parade’ to pretend that it was them doing the work all along, and that mighty Leopards/Challengers/Abrams/etc. were the ones that actually destroyed the Russian legions, including their tank equivalents.
But since I don’t expect the meat assault units to make such miraculous breakthroughs, that means I continue to stick to what I said in the older pasted article above, that I don’t think we’ll see this Western gear actually used. There’s very little chance Ukraine or their handlers have the pluck and balls to actually put up their best gear against Russian forces. This is why we continue to hear these rumors about ‘phantom Leopard sightings’ like it’s some kind of Bigfoot skulking around in the rear. I think it’s likely true, they have a few driving around in the rear simply as a sort of morale booster for the meat fodder sent into the assaults. They flash one of these Leopards around to basically say “see, we’ve got your back! Now go get ‘em, Tiger!” then they hide the tank back in the forest.
But what does that mean for Russian MOD’s report today that 8 Leopards were destroyed? Who knows, they could have destroyed them in the rear somewhere by way of long range strikes, or MOD is simply mistaken just like we all were this morning when the AMX-10 photos first surfaced and looked really like Leo 2A4s from the top.
Some have ridiculed the MOD and said that they lied about destroying many HIMARs before so surely they’re lying about the Leopards now. It’s funny though, they said that long ago when MOD said they destroyed all the TB2 Bayraktars too. People laughed then, remember? Who’s laughing now though? We recently got confirmation if you’ll recall that Russia did in fact wipe out almost every single one of the TB2s, many dozens of them.
And as for HIMARs, have you seen one recently? They are supposed to have 20-30 of them if you count the identical M270s and German Mars IIs given to Ukraine, and yet they’ve mysteriously gone quiet just like the Bayraktars and rarely ever fire anymore. Why’s that I wonder.
So, who knows, we’ll see about the Leopards. But that remains the only way they’re likely to get destroyed, is in rear strikes, because I’m still highly skeptical they’ll ever truly be used unless the meat brigades first create huge breakthroughs and safety corridors for the Leopards to prance through and pretend they conducted a blitzkrieg.
And by the way, speaking of propaganda. It’s Ukraine that continues to be caught in lies. In the last report we stated how their assault videos on Novaya Tavolzhanka near Belgorod was suspected by journalists of being fake because the house numbers didn’t exist in the town. Well, today we got full confirmation by geolocation experts who in fact geolocated those ‘assault’ videos to a village in Chernobyl Oblast.
Today, they released more such fake videos, including one of themselves climbing out of a sewer, in a cheap Nazi-Super-Mario rendition, or was it the Ninja Turtles?
However, after that initial round of fakes, they did post one video finally geolocated into the town itself. But the problem is, they claimed they had taken over all of Novaya Tavolzhanka and that the entire town has been deserted by fleeing Russians. But the geolocation showed them here:
As you can see, it’s at the very southern tip of the town only hundreds of meters from the Ukrainian border. And actually the geolocated houses were deeper in the photo used, so the actual position of the saboteurs was even further south.
Also, my ‘Nazi’ quip above wasn’t in pure jest. In fact, a video surfaced of the RDK group (supposedly comprised of Poles) near a BTR which had a portion of it mysteriously blurred out:
But then an uncensored photo came out:
In fact, the guy on the right in the picture above has already been identified by his other Nazi tattoos as this popular merc:
As of now, I don’t think anyone knows the actual real status of the town. There were reports all day that Russian forces kept pushing this group out and forcing them to retreat across the river on boats. But later on they simply come back with more men and continue carrying out DRG sabotage missions through the forests surrounding the town.
And by the way, naturally they deny that they’re taking heavy losses as Russia asserts. However, we continue to get information after each of their PR stunt assaults about various casualties. For instance, this memorial was posted on a Ukrainian channel:
But these losses are more than worth it to them as the critical PR and Twitter warfare victories these incursions are giving them are more than ample payoff, in their minds at least.
And what’s interesting is, yesterday I posted this data which showed that Belgorod had now overtaken Donetsk by 20% in amount of shelling received in the past week:
Data for today is not yet available, but so far the sad statistics for the week looks like this: 2,383 shells on the Donetsk agglomeration against 3,035 shells on the Belgorod region.
One breakdown of it I forgot to mention is that this equates to 3035/7 = 434 shells per day; and actually one source had it at around 600.
But either way, recall that Ukraine is said to fire anywhere between 5000 to 10,000 shells per day. However, in the Pentagon leaks, we were privy to one week’s snapshot of their actual exact shell usage, and it had amounted to around 2700 for a daily average.
This means that even 5-10k may actually be high for them, and they may in fact often be averaging around 3k shells per day. But here’s where it gets crazy:
The above numbers for Donetsk and Belgorod I gave are 2,383 shells fired on Donetsk and 3,035 on Belgorod for the week. That means a total of 5,418 shells for the week were fired just on civilian targets in the cities of Donetsk and Belgorod region (this really means mostly Shebekino).
Divide that by 7 and you get 774. So the AFU is averaging 774 shells per day fired on Donetsk/Belgorod, and yet I just highlighted that the Pentagon leaks showed they were averaging 2700 shells per day in total, across the entire SMO zone.
This means that the AFU is arguably now firing a whopping almost 30% of their total shells (774/2700) into just civilian areas. This is to highlight the point often brought up before, and now more relevant than ever in regard to Ukraine’s operational shift in this war; which is that Ukraine appears to be no longer even fighting an actual battlefield war against their enemies. They are now largely carrying out a terrorist / guerilla hybrid psyop of mass proportions and barely hiding it anymore. They are no longer even trying to actually win, as the few precious rounds they have they’re siphoning an entire third of them into simple terror that has zero military consequence but is all about generating psychological effects.
Sure, they may have upped their numbers of shells fired in total, so maybe those numbers are a little skewed, particularly now that they’re ramping up towards their claimed offensive. However, I’ve seen interviews where AFU officers themselves stated on camera they do upwards of 5k shells per day realistically. So even if they’ve upped it back to 5k (it fluctuates anyway), the nearly 800 daily shells fired on Belgorod/Donetsk are still a sizable portion of that.
This just proves to me more than anything that they’ve completely given up on actually trying to win the real land war, and are now only focusing on winning the simulation.
And on that note, LordBebo made a post on Telegram (uncertain if it’s his or a repost of someone else’s thoughts) which I thought to be the best theory I’ve yet seen on the Zaluzhny situation, which strikes me as actually quite believable, particularly in light of past rumors:
On Zaluzhny: I think actually around the time of the collapse of Bakhmut, Zaluzhny was removed from his duty. But since he’s very popular and to keep a good picture, it wasn’t done officially. So right now he’s basically under arrest and makes “Hi I’m ok ✌️“ videos for morale purposes.
Remember Zaluzhny addressed the country regularly and commented on all kinds of things related to his duty. For him being quiet is very unusual, especially since he started posting “empty” proof of life videos.
-> NOTE: He missed a NATO meeting. Couldn’t even participate through video. But then went to a wedding? (Photo 1 and 2)
It looks like he’s doing everything to fade away, but proof to us that he’s alive at the same time.
-> NOTE: Yermak, says that military decisions are taken by the headquarters, not by Zaluzhny directly. (Video 1)
In Video 2 General Krivonos explains, that there’s unity of command. No committees or anything. Unless Zelensky is making decisions it’s Zaluzhny.
-> I find it the most likely that Zaluzhny is meant to fade away so people slowly forget about him. Then later, when it’s a good moment, they’ll announce that he’s fired or that he quit.
There were rumors for such a long time about Zaluzhny being close to being removed by Zelensky in the early part of this year when the Bakhmut situation began to come to a head. They butted heads a lot and completely disagreed on how Bakhmut should be handled. This scenario would certainly explain a lot. Not wanting to demoralize the troops, they could quietly remove him and pretend he’s still doing work, but in reality no longer be a part of the command structure. With that said, no real convincing and professional appearance of either him or Budanov has still yet been made.
But back to the offensive, here’s a last very thoughtful post from a prominent military analyst I agree with that I’ll leave that topic on:
Information coming from various sources allows us to conclude that the Ukrainian command can no longer delay the offensive and is moving from cautious probing of the front to attempts to break through it. Three weeks of "movement to contact" battles - reconnaissance in force (according to American combat regulations) - did not reveal an area where it would be possible to launch an offensive with a high probability of breaking through the front and developing success with minimal losses, and now we have to move on to a methodical build-up the power of attacks, counting on the "break" of the front using the classical offensive scheme - creating overwhelming fire and numerical superiority over the enemy at the place of the alleged breakthrough.
Such a tactic is capable of bringing success, but is characterized by the "burning" of reserves. the units brought into battle can no longer be pulled back and are used until their offensive potential is completely used up. According to reports from Kyiv, the mood in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is pessimistic. The losses suffered during the month, primarily material - the destroyed ammunition depots and fuel and lubricants, as well as heavy losses in the top military leadership, seriously disrupted the supply system of the troops and combat command and control.
Obviously, the "attack" will not give any strategic success, at best, it will be possible to advance two or three dozen kilometers in some directions, and then at the cost of huge losses and "wasted" reserves. On Friday, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine turned to Zelensky with a request to stop the "offensive" and ask Western curators for an additional 21 days to restore the combat command and control system, accumulate supplies and weapons. With the same request, it went through operational channels to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Milli, but in response received an order to continue the offensive. this is the demand of the US president himself, who needs a result from the Ukrainians - a military defeat of the Russians , and not an explanation of the reasons for the failures.
The only person in the Biden administration who supported the Ukrainians' request was security adviser Sullivan, who is in charge and oversees the entire Ukrainian project - "the main hawk of Biden's nest," as he was dubbed in the administration. For him, the failure of the current "offensive" can be a personal collapse, because. Sullivan put everything on him, hoping to win his way to the very top of the US Democratic Party and the American political Olympus by defeating Russia. And Sullivan is worried that the failure of the offensive will dramatically weaken his position in the White House.
Therefore, in the coming days, we can expect an increase in the attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the introduction of the main reserves into battle. We must be aware that under the circumstances, the stakes for the Ukrainians and their Western curators are so high that they will throw all their strength into the battle and will fight with all the bitterness of people who have nothing to lose. After all, they really have nothing to lose! An unsuccessful "general offensive" will turn the whole war onto a completely different development track!
And one more situational update. Ukraine had been bragging that they launched a counter-offensive on Bakhmut and had retaken Berkhovka at the northwest edge of the city. However, Russian sources on the ground confirm Russians repelled their attack and booted them out:
Ukrainian-Russian war. Day 467:
Despite reports about the partial capture of Berkhivka by Ukrainian Army the reality was that attack was repelled and now the town is under full control of Russians. In addition, Ukrainian attacks at Mayorsk, Ugledar and Soledar axis were repelled by Russian forces too. It's expected Ukrainian Army will increase the attacks on the eastern front to divert Russian resources while it will use the bulk of the new resources in the southern axis, which Melitopol still being the main objective. On September 2022 we wrote about the southern fronts and the possibilities Ukrainian Army had to advance towards Azov Sea. Now this objective seems to be more difficult following the arrival of Russian mobilized troops and the construction of several trench lines. However, its too early to get conclusions of this new offensive which seems to have already started...
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