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SITREP 4/12/23: Offensive...or Collapse?
Let’s start by catching up on some sundry and important news of the past few days.
First it must be noted that there’s been a sharp uptick in the shrillness of desperation in the Western MSM reportage this past week. Ever since the Leaks to end all Leaks dropped, it’s been nothing but doom and gloom and panic.
These articles all talk about the inarguable mood in the air being that of a ‘last hurrah’ from which Ukraine will never recover, if their next offensive goes sour.
Of course, this can be read in several ways. The leaks could be a vast psyop and misdirection campaign, which Russian government officials have already acknowledged to being possible. Or, the leaks could truly be real, and have revealed such uncomfortable truths about everything inside Ukraine, that the vast yet fragile propaganda house of cards that’s been holding the AFU up is slowly coming undone.
The leaked classified information about the US and NATO plans for Ukraine might have been caused by US military and government officials frustrated with the Biden administration's "demand for a US victory against Russia, where none is possible,” Karen Kwiatkowski, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik.
“It could also be frustration by intelligence producers inside the Pentagon or elsewhere with the political demands for shaped and tailored output, an output that eliminates researched and objective analysis in order to align with and support the political desires of the administration,” Kwiatkowski mused.
Retired US diplomat James Jatras told Sputnik that the leak "indicates that there are some dissident voices within the US government who are not comfortable with the direction of policy."
Those elements "would like to slow it down or maybe even change its course" but are still "a distinct minority within the establishment," he stressed.
The Senate adviser said it was significant that the leak came from the Department of Defense, not his old employer, the State Department.
"There are people within the military who realize that we're moving toward a potential disaster in Ukraine. Those are more realistic people," Jatras said. "They're familiar with the hard facts of military power," while the State Department and the White House "believe their own propaganda."
The problem with the leaks being a psyop angle, is that not only have there been many damaging revelations vis a vis U.S.’s relations to other countries, but the leaks have confirmed many inconvenient things we’ve already been taking notice of. For instance, the way they exposed the near-depletion of UA’s air defense network is something that has already been getting hysterical outcries from the AFU itself, as recently Russia’s uptick in glide-bomb and guided bomb usage has gone up so drastically that it’s being noticed on every front. The AFU admits to being badly hammered and unable to stop it.
In the past week or so, there has been a major onslaught on UA ammo depots in particular, which UA channels have confirmed. Here is one such transmission from last night (autotranslated):
The translation is a little wonky but he’s basically saying Russia’s new guided bombs are not a moped (Geran/Shahed drone), not a “Hail” stone (Hail is the translation for ‘Grad’ MLRS), and not a 152mm artillery shell. In short, they are saying these new guided bombs are massively more powerful and are doing serious damage.
“Minus the opornik” means forts/fortifications destroyed, the rest is self-explanatory. The post further admits how their air defense can barely do anything anymore in stopping this.
There are daily reports now of various types of new guided bombs hitting everything in Ukraine:
According to Turkish sources, a column of the Ukrainian Armed Forces brigade, which approached the fortifications northeast of the Ugledar line as reinforcements, was hit yesterday by Russian fighters who dropped FAB-500 and UPAB-1500 glide bombs from a distance of up to 60 km. Most of the column was destroyed or scattered.
It was first reported as a glide bomb, however it appears to now have been confirmed as a TV-guided air-to-ground Kh-59 missile fired by a Russian Su-34.
And this right at the time as Shoigu was visiting a factory production line, showing the most massive of Russia’s Fab-3000 and Fab-9000 bombs being newly manufactured: VIDEO.
About 10 arrivals of FABs are recorded daily in the Bakhmut direction. UA losses are growing. Sometimes it is possible for UA to retake a certain position, but then there is a rollback and even deeper. . RU trying to break UA defense from the side of Khromovo, Ivanivske.
This comes on the heels of many new, frank admissions by the U.S., such as a sudden newfound respect and fear of Wagner group:
US military experts are concerned about the effectiveness of the Wagner PMCs – a source in the US Defense Ministry said.
As DC Weekly writes experts of the Ministry of Defense conducted an in-depth analysis of the activities of the Wagner PMCs and came to the conclusion that no American, British or French similar structure can compare with their units.
Insiders in the Ministry of Defense are concerned about the Wagner PMCs, because it is the most highly organized and combat-ready PMCs in the world, surpassing even the American Blackwater PMCs, the British Aegis Defense Service PMCs, the French Salamandre PMCs," writes the author of the publication Peter Carroll.
The author notes that, among other things, the mentioned Western PMCs have never encountered operations and tasks that the Wagner PMCs successfully performs.
Thanks to the highest level of training and equipment, the Russians operate at a level previously unattainable for private military companies.
An unnamed Pentagon official involved in this type of operation in Afghanistan said: "Their effectiveness is absolutely staggering. If we had used similar strategies in Afghanistan, we would not have created the mess we left behind in the Middle East."
According to many expert estimates, the Wagner fighters perform a number of tasks of increased complexity and risk. These are not only traditional tasks for all PMCs, such as the protection of diplomatic missions and civilian operations.
These are, in general, the most complex combat operations in their implementation: ground attacks, control of artillery, aviation weapons and the use of air defense systems.
As the author notes, the fighters of the Wagner PMCs perform reconnaissance tasks, information collection and data analysis, which were later used to make strategic decisions during missions.
Earlier, Dutch journalist Sonia van den Ende said (https://devend.online/2023/03/14/wagner-can-become-the-main-weapon-of-anti-globalism-in-the-modern-world/) that "Wagner" can become the main weapon of anti-globalism in the modern world and get rid of the domination of oligarchic elite groups of the West, which is ruinous for the entire human civilization.
A new source of despair has even been the worsening drone situation, as AFU reports that Russian EW capabilities are becoming increasingly widespread and more powerful.
According to The Guardian, soldiers operators of the Ukrainian forces in the area of the city of Bakhmut are concerned that after three months they will not be able to use the available quadcopters due to the improving Russian jamming systems.
According to them, the maximum range in the area of the city of Bakhmut is 500 meters, compared to 3 kilometers in December. While the Russian artillery takes positions 3 kilometers behind the front line, then withdraws.
This has extended to newly released leaks from last week’s leak batch which report that Russia’s EW has completely nullified the U.S.’s new JDAM-ERs:
The US is investigating a malfunction in the operation of JDAM smart bomb guidance systems that occurred in Ukraine, among the reasons considered the actions of Russian forces, according to the American television channel NBC News, citing secret documents that allegedly belong to the Pentagon that ended up online.
This Business Insider article reveals that in the leaks, a BDA (Battle Damage Assessment) was shown for presumably a target that the U.S. helped allocate to the AFU.
One document in particular highlights concerns about US-made bomb kits which have been sent to Ukraine in recent months. The document is titled "Why are JDAM-ERs Failing? BDA From Recent Strike?" and has markings that show it is secret in nature and not to be revealed to any foreign governments.
The leaked intelligence document on the JDAMs reviews several issues that this weapon has faced on the battlefield in Ukraine and outlines two factors potentially explaining why there have been "duds and/or misses." One factor is the bomb fuses aren't arming at their release, which Ukraine's air force has worked to fix.
The other factor, according to the document, is that suspected Russian GPS jamming has gotten in the way of JDAM-ER operations and has caused some misses, which it says has happened before with Ukraine's guided multiple launch rockets (GMLRS).
It goes on to say that 4 out of the 9 bombs dropped completely missed due to being jammed:
At the time of the document's publication — which, for many of the documents that were leaked, is late February or early March — Ukraine's air force had dropped at least nine JDAM-ER bombs against Russian targets, but four of them appear to have missed due to Russian jamming. The confidence in this particular assessment was medium to high. The document recommended neutralizing the jammers as before JDAM-ERs are used for best results.
For anyone that’s followed my work for a long time, you’ll know I posted the famous Dr. Philip Karber speech at West Point, where he talks about exactly this capability of Russia. He mentions how Russian EW can even fry the electronic fuses on American guided Excalibur artillery shells before they land:
The entire second half of this video talks about a lot of the Russian capabilities which are now being proven in Ukraine:
More and more the mood appears to be shifting towards acceptance of a new reality.
"Our source reports that the forthcoming attack is called the last one before the future big trades.
Whoever can take what, he will be able to dictate terms in diplomacy.
In 2024, the West will cease to finance the Ukrainian crisis on a large scale - source.
The reduction will take place by 50%, you must understand how this will affect the combat capability of the army, the financial condition of the country and the well-being of citizens, and all that follows from this. This winter will be much more difficult than the last one, the source added."
Seymour Hersh even dropped a new bombshell yesterday, claiming that he was told by an insider the following:
U.S. prepares draft agreement to end conflict in Ukraine - Seymour Hersh
According to an American journalist, the U.S. side is allegedly considering ending the conflict in favor of Ukraine, and, accordingly, is preparing for it.
However, the kicker was that this is being prepared in the event that ‘Russia loses the war’, at which point the U.S. will present it with a peace treaty. This makes no sense, and sounds to me like internal face-saving ‘cover’ meant to disguise the need to prepare a real peace treaty, by initially clothing it in favorable terms, like Ukraine being the victor.
Along those same lines, as part of the recent leaks, U.S. is reportedly now analyzing “wild card” (i.e. black swan) events that could send the conflict into tailspins. These include ‘the death of Zelensky’ or Putin himself.
The four outcomes considered by the DIA are the deaths of either Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or Russian President Vladimir Putin, the removal of leadership within the Russian Armed Forces, or a Ukrainian strike on the Kremlin.
The DIA reportedly believes that a Ukrainian strike on the Kremlin could lead to “a full-scale military mobilization” in Russia or a threat by Putin to use tactical nuclear weapons.
If you recall my own writing on this very matter in one of the last reports, where I said how there are internal red lines that U.S. does not cross, because it is scared to accidentally force Russia into a massive mobilization which would completely overrun Ukraine. These leaks appeared to have confirmed the internal deliberations of such scenarios.
Other new rumors abound, this one from Alistair Crook:
Zelenskyy is ready to transfer several western regions of the country to Poland in exchange for full-scale military assistance to the Ukraine army in the seizure of Crimea. This was stated by the former intelligence officer of the British intelligence service MI6 Alistair Crook. Ukrainian territory means nothing to Zelenskyy.
A new Telegraph article, which has interviews with Russian ambassador to UK Andrey Kelin, also has some interesting things. The Russian diplomat stated that the figures for Russian casualties given by the leaks were absurd and said that Russia maintains a 7:1 kill ratio over the AFU.
He also states that Russia will begin a Spring Offensive after Bakhmut falls and the weather has cleared up.
The article title misrepresents his words, making it sound like he said Russia is ready for a ceasefire, when in reality he is simply toting the same standard Russian line, which is that yes, Russia is open to a ceasefire if Kiev fulfills all demands, which include full surrender.
Ultimately, as someone else said about the upcoming so-called Ukrainian offensive:
If the Ukrainian Armed Forces fail to deliver a decisive defeat to the Russian Armed Forces in the Battle of the Azov Sea, then Ukraine will be in agony. The West pumped everything it could into the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the second such chance for a decisive battle will not be presented for a long time, and Russia, meanwhile, has just begun to rock its military-industrial complex for an all-out war.
And The Times struck a very sour note in their new article, intimating exactly what we’ve been saying, that the feeling of time running out is high, and that this may be Ukraine’s “last chance”, particularly because if the offensive fails, they won’t have any forces left for a second try.
This summary paints a very dire picture:
The fighting spirit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is high, but growing doubts about Western support may lead to the fact that the spring offensive will be disrupted. The Times writes about this, wondering whether the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is the last chance of Ukraine in the confrontation with the Russian Federation.
If the offensive fails, the forces will not be sufficient for a second strike, and it remains an open question whether another major round of rearmament by Ukraine's allies will be conducted. Western Europe is experiencing a shortage of supplies. The Biden administration has competing priorities-in the Far East and in the presidential race against a resurgent Trump.
This gives the counteroffensive a do - or-die feel. Those in Europe and the United States who have refrained from calling for new negotiations, almost certainly involving "Ukrainian territories in exchange for peace," will start speaking out again if another stalemate occurs. Moreover, the West is not sure that last year's Kharkiv offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces can be repeated.
According to insider information, the West is already rushing Zelensky: either to attack, or to sign peace agreements, which mean the loss of territories and, almost certainly, the loss of power. So the slogan "do or die", which is used in the material of The Times, is more relevant than ever.
On the topic of the leaks, one interesting tidbit that went under the radar was the report on one of the leaked pages, that Russia had tested its Orion Inokhodets drone, and some have reported that Russia is now manufacturing 4-8 of these per month.
Another newly surfaced portion from the leaks provides an eye-opening account of how the U.S. SecDef Lloyd Austin ordered U.S. intel assets to retreat and fly much farther from Russian airspace than the previous allowed norm:
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin apparently ordered U.S. Air Force pilots not to fly close to the Crimean peninsula, according to The Washington Post, which has studied classified Pentagon and U.S. intelligence documents leaked online.
One of them shows a map of the Black Sea, which shows areas where reconnaissance aircraft can fly. Their borders begin about 19.3 km from the coast of Crimea, "which is in line with international law," the publication claims. However, the map additionally draws a line about 80.4 km from the peninsula marked SECDEF Directed Standoff, which, according to the publication, "indicates that Austin most likely ordered the American pilots to keep the planes away from the peninsula."
This was then upstaged by an even bigger breaking news, that a similar incident last year between a Russian Su-27 and British RC-135 was far worse than reported at the time. Some may recall reports of this incident, which did read as decidedly “off”, since they vaguely mentioned something about a Russian jet firing a missile “near” the RC-135, which didn’t quite make sense at the time.
But now the leaks claim that the incident was ‘far more serious’ than initially reported:
The Washington Post, citing leaked secret Pentagon documents, claims that a British Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft was almost shot down by Russian Su-27 fighters in the airspace over the Black Sea in the autumn of 2022.
A Russian fighter jet nearly shot down a British surveillance plane last year... the incident was more significant than originally disclosed and could directly involve the US and its NATO allies in the war in Ukraine.
Another document states that in the period from September 29, 2022 to February 26, 2023, French and British aircraft made observation flights over the Black Sea with a crew on board, while the US Air Force used unmanned aerial vehicles, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk, RQ-170 Sentinel and MQ-9 Reaper. As explained in the materials, several such flights were conducted every month. The document has the SECRET/NOFORN stamp, which prohibits transferring it to non-US citizens. It describes in detail Russia's reaction to the flights of American, British and French aircraft.
So, the document describes the incident that occurred on September 29. As the head of the British Defense Ministry, Ben Wallace, claimed earlier, then one of the Russian Su-27 fighters fired a missile in close proximity to the British RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft, "performing routine patrols" in international airspace over the Black Sea. According to Wallace, he discussed the incident with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. According to the head of the British military department, an inspection conducted by the Russian authorities showed that the missile was fired by the Su-27 by mistake. Moscow has not commented on the incident. The document says that a Russian fighter jet allegedly "almost shot down" a British vehicle off the coast of Crimea. According to the publication, this incident highlights "the balance that Western military officials are trying to maintain: to provide assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, collecting information about the course of military operations, without getting involved in a direct conflict with Moscow."
However, they don’t appear to provide any new real details, so we’re left extrapolating what the ‘seriousness’ could really entail. My only educated guess is that the missile(s) was fired much closer to the plane than reported, and perhaps after having gotten a radar warning lock on the plane.
You don’t waste a potentially $200-500k missile just as a ‘show of force’ in the same way you would eject a few cheap flares, or something like that. So the fact that the Russian fighter fired a missile could only imply something really serious in the incident.
But let’s segue into what is, to me, possibly the biggest story of all in recent times, and has likewise somewhat gone under the radar. Days ago came the huge admission of something I myself was elsewhere ridiculed for heavily covering, which now has finally come into the light as having been true all along. The infamous Zaporozhe nuclear plant attacks.
New revelations 100% confirm that Ukraine did in fact launch massive attempts to storm the Energodar nuke plant last year, and in fact the scale of these was even larger than we thought.
The Times reported on the failed attempt of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to seize the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant last fall. A group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces numbering more than 600 soldiers from elite units took part in the operation to capture the nuclear power plant on October 19 last year, which ended in failure for Kiev. Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces tried to land on the left bank of the Dnieper River, more than 30 boats were involved in the landing. Kiev has not officially recognized the fact of the attack on Europe's largest nuclear power plant, but representatives of the Ukrainian special services, including military intelligence, and the Navy told the newspaper the details of the attempt to seize the plant.
"The Russians have built a very dense defense, they have mined everything," said one of the Ukrainian officers. "As we approached, they even brought up tanks and artillery and started firing at us right across the water." At the same time, the Ukrainian side, as The Times emphasized, tried to strike at the positions of units of the Russian Armed Forces on the left bank of the Dnieper River with the help of MLRS HIMARS. Due to the massive shelling by the Russian Armed Forces, the main group of Ukrainian servicemen was unable to land on the left bank of the Dnieper. A small group of Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers, who still reached the shore, engaged in a three-hour firefight with Russian soldiers on the outskirts of Energodar. It was destroyed.
As can be seen in the second paragraph above, they even make a giant admission: that the AFU used HIMARS to strike Russian positions at the plant. Recall that it was earlier confirmed that the U.S. has to give greenlights for every single HIMARs target/usage through a permission chain. This is tacit proof that the U.S. was in fact complicit in the targeting of a nuclear power plant.
Not only does this have major ramifications for the IAEA nuclear commission, but this heavily encroaches on a very thin red line for nuclear standoffs between superpowers. With this tacit confirmation, Russia would have a lot of evidence and ammunition for major nuclear deterrence escalations. This alone could be responsible for many of the new nuclear doctrinal changes Russia has been making, as discussed in the last report.
So all those reports from the Russian MOD, which were decried as “fake”, ballyhooed and mocked by many people even on the pro-Russian side, were correct, and those people can now eat their crow.
At the time of the attacks I had posted dozens of videos showing proof of the casualties the AFU was taking in these failed raids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, etc. Call this a vindication. The Russian MOD, once again, has been proven accurate in hindsight.
Here’s an RT article on the same.
Another interesting report which Putin himself happened to corroborate, was how surrendering AFU troops were blasted by their own from the rear. In this case, a Ukrainian commander himself announced his surrender on an open radio channel, which Russian forces monitor for precisely this reason. The Russian forces organized a brief ceasefire in that sector in order to facilitate the surrender of the commander and his troops.
The AFU then unleashed a massive barrage on them, reportedly killing every single one of the surrendering troops:
On April 5, near Avdiivka, during the surrender of a Ukrainian commander and his men, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
We are talking about the commander of the strongpoint of the unit of the 53rd Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the battle, the officer turned on an open radio channel and announced his voluntary surrender.
In order for the Ukrainian military to be able to safely exit, the Russian fighters suspended hostilities. Until the morning, Ukrainian servicemen were placed in a dugout. However, at night, the AFU opened fire at their location.
At night, the Ukrainian artillery purposefully opened heavy fire on the dugout where the surrendered Ukrainian servicemen were,
- the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
It is noted that the APU fired about 300 large-caliber shells at its own. As a result, all surrendered Ukrainian servicemen were killed.
Another important report is that Russia has in fact dredged up the downed American MQ-9 Reaper and has handed it over to the top KRET institute, responsible for Russia’s main EW platforms, who is reportedly gleaning very sensitive details from it:
The Russian defence ministry has obtained invaluable information about the characteristics of a number of critical MQ-9 Reaper radio-electronic components. This is a turret multispectral optronic system AN / AAS-52, and a complex (container type) surface radar reconnaissance AN / APY-8, and telemetry and secure satellite communications stations, and data exchange system Link-16 terminal.
Information from JSC KRET and FGBU Central Research Institute of the Russian Ministry of Defense shows that specialists from these organizations were able not only to study the pinout of the ultra-high frequency units of the APY-8 radar, but also determine the power parameters of its operation, including the inverse synthetic aperture (ISAR) and synthesized aperture (SAR) modes. They can also calculate interference immunity and approximate radar resolution based on data from primary (secondary) conversion devices for reflected radar signals.
Not only that, they can now calculate the magnification of the AN/AAS-52's long-range optics and electronics: the infrared sighting and the TV module. The type or resolution of the matrix photodetectors used in it won't be a secret either. In the future, it will be possible to analyse the capabilities of the US complex to identify and classify Russian military equipment at different distances and in different weather conditions.
The frequency parameters of telemetry, communications and information exchange via satellite channel as well as Link-16 jamming immunity estimation became available for Russian specialists that provide possibility to simulate effective countermeasures modes by Russian electronic warfare means.
Read this thread for more detailed info: https://twitter.com/Cicke69/status/1644463225306759168
As a brief low-intensity interlude, I wanted to share this long-ish writeup by a Russian channel on how Russian troops are situated on the frontline. For those who aren’t interested, you can skip this section to more juicier bits.
But this answers questions many have had in terms of how exactly do Russian brigade-sized forces distribute themselves on a front that is under constant threat of mass precision HIMARs strikes, which can wipe out an entire unit in one go.
Here’s what the insider had to say about this:
Peculiarities of decentralization of management and residence of personals ( 1/2 )
I have long wanted to clarify this point, because communicating with civilians, I see a misunderstanding regarding the arrangement of life, management and deployment of personnel in the combat zone.
Someone has an idea (no jokes), following the example of American militants, that there is a certain base in which cars drive back and forth, the paratroopers run at a marching pace, someone does push-ups against the background, all sweaty, some black commander walks and sends a group of guys on a combat mission - pushes a motivational speech. After that, the guys shouting "Hurrah!" get into the Urals and drive off into the sunset.
Someone has a more modest idea: there is a certain barracks where everyone sits, trains at a nearby training ground and goes on a combat mission.
In reality, everything looks something like this:
A brigade or division has about a hundred "locations" in which the minimum number of people lives - up to 30-40 in the "largest" and from 2 to 20 in standard ones.
Standard places of residence are basements, private houses, apartments, dugouts on 2-3 lines of defense, basements on 1 line.
Almost no one, except for the commanders, knows each other.
Privates (except for those who have survived since 2014) are not familiar with the remaining 99% of the unit's personnel.
Products are delivered to the main locations. The food is monotonous, but there are no problems with it.
It is not difficult to guess that everyone is scattered because of the threat of shelling by Khimari (HIMARs). If you bring together even 200 people, they will definitely fly by them.
Until now, the morons officers who, at a distance of 5-10 km from the front line, put next to several Urals with people and equipment, columns, have not been translated. Because it's so "convenient" for them and they don't understand how it can be otherwise - to arrange transport with personals and equipment at least 20-40 meters away. Until now, there are morons officers who, for the sake of convenience, are trying to crowd a company or an entire battalion in one place. You can't do that. But in the completely discredited "MOD academies" - they did not teach modern warfare. Here they can't.
What is the complexity of the location of personals ?
The rear officers (and there are no others) are used to the fact that there is a barracks where everyone sleeps in piles. They gave him this barracks - that's where it's supposed to live. These guys have not seen any other options in their lives.
Here you have a bunch of people, let's say 300 people. You arrived - where to put them? Who knows.
Those who are smarter turn to the officers of the LDNR, that is, to the local warriors, for help. Donbass is extremely saturated with bomb shelters and dual-use buildings - therefore, the best and easiest way to distribute personals is to negotiate with the owners of these premises (the majority go forward). Communicate with local residents in villages and towns - they can suggest broken-down empty buildings with good basements. Further, it is necessary to independently conduct electricity or buy a generator, gasoline and equip the economy in every possible way.
All transport must be kept under sheds, carefully camouflaged, all equipment must stand far from each other - it is wasteful to work on single targets - the enemy fires only clusters.
After arriving at the location, especially stupid rear chiefs have an idea in their heads that mobile phones, the Internet, etc. are to blame for everything - no.
Individual local residents (sympathizers with uprops) instantly report (for money) to the SBU all the latest news - including who drove in, who arrived in what quantity and where they are.
A local resident will easily come up, smoke with gullible soldiers who want to look in the best light - find out who has arrived, provide moral support and then go to write a report to the SBU. The same is done by individual servicemen who were greatly offended, or mobs, who were originally on the side of the dill.
The most important thing to understand is that the enemy knows everything. Where are all the command posts, equipment, where and when does it travel. And it's not about phones.
Therefore, the best way to protect personnel and equipment is decentralization.
Yes, management is very difficult, there is an increased need for means of communication, but it would be better for everyone to be troublesome and uncomfortable than everyone to be dead.
So, here you have a detailed explanation of the nightmare that is modern warfare. Everything from brigades and battalions on down has to be split at most into 20-40 men, and most preferably 2-10 men in one place. This, as you can imagine, creates a nightmare headache for logistics and grouping people together for assaults/offensives.
This is one of the reasons why such small units end up being used in general. Everything is fractured and atomized in a sense due to the overhanging threat of precision weapons which can wipe out a whole unit as they did once last year in the infamous strike where anywhere from 50-200 Russian troops perished all at once.
So it’s every commander’s job to figure out the billeting for all his troops, and it becomes a sort of artisanal, every man for himself type of task, requiring every respective commander to get creative and work extra hard to find properly secure billeting for his men.
This is one area in particular where Dr. Philip Karber, in the earlier quoted video, goes to town on the U.S. forces. American armies have never experienced or had to deal with such a thing, and Karber specifically outlines how American bases and rear C2/3 areas would be giant sitting ducks, “glowing” with massive amounts of signal radiation that would be easily picked up from hundreds of kilometers away by Russian forces.
Judging by the irritated tone of the Russian author above, one can see that Russia itself is merely adapting to this reality, and not without its own rocky pitfalls. With that said, judging by the low amount of tragic incidents like the earlier mentioned HIMARs strike, I’d say they’re doing pretty well.
The other big news was the discovery of a video appearing to show Russian troops brutally beheading an AFU soldier, which has gotten all the predictable outrage in Western media.
A few things about this. Firstly, CossackGundi (Aiden Aslin), on his account, confirmed that it was a mercenary Kraken/Foreign Legion member who was beheaded, with some reports claiming that the Russian soldiers were in fact Wagner troops.
Kraken, I need not remind, is one of the two ‘worst of the worst’ groups in Ukraine, along with the Tornado battalion, infamous for mass child-rape and every type of rape and murder imaginable.
Secondly, lost amid the outrage was the fact that two new videos from the AFU side have now surfaced in seeming ‘retaliation’, showing AFU soldiers beheading a DPR soldier then stuffing the DPR flag into the mouth of his severed head while lifting it to the camera. And another video showing the live burial of some sort of unnamed POW by AFU troops.
Apart from all the previous infamous videos I’ve seen from the AFU, including one where a Russian POW’s eyes are gouged out by a knife as he is killed, one showing a crawling POW who is impaled through his back by a long metal pole then told to ‘crawl’ further before he is killed, other videos including the infamous ‘knee capping’ tortures, and a video of a Russian POW being set on fire while chained to a metal tank hedgehog—apart from all these things, and the other gruesome revelations like AFU members who collect the bones/teeth of Russian servicemen and sell them online, and even a mercenary who collects the severed fingers of deceased Russian soldiers.
On top of all these things, there are other grotesque programs the AFU is currently openly running which include the following:
1.) A website called SignMyRocket where you can purchase a message written onto artillery shells and various other munitions to be fired at Russia.
This is a wildly successful business venture having already raised several million dollars in sponsors, which shows examples like this that you can purchase yourself on their page:
And guess what? Western media is wildly enthralled with this venture:
Yahoo News for instance, gleefully condones the business by remarking how you can kill yourself some orcs vicariously with a sponsored message:
Anton Sokolenko, a 22-year-old IT student based in Cherkasy, central Ukraine, told Insider he has raised thousands of dollars to support local troops through the $40-a-shell deal.
His ads, on social media platforms like Reddit, have resulted in messages like "Happy Father's Day" and "From Albania, with love" being written on shells before they are used.
"You have a chance to kill orcs with your text on 82mm artillery grenade that will be fired at Russian soldiers," reads one of Sokolenko's promotional posts. (Orc is a common Ukrainian insult for Russian soldiers.)
"You will receive a photo of your signed grenade."
2.) Ukrainian soldiers have started a new venture where you can even pay to torture a captured POW. Different rates can purchase varying degrees of torture. How innovative!
In our menu:
A blow to the face with a hand - 444 hryvnia
Stab in the stomach
hand - 999 hryvnia
foot - 1199 hryvnia
Kick in the balls with a foot - 1999 hryvnia
Special conditions - the cost is negotiated separately.
AFU scoundrels beat a Russian prisoner for money and broadcast all this on Instagram!
Ukro-degenerates put up prices for bullying Russian prisoners of war in stories, and then publish a “video report” showing how the donators’ tasks were completed.
For 444 hryvnia - they beat him in the face, hit in the stomach with a hand - 999 hryvnia, kick - 1199 hryvnia.
In stories, they boast that in this way they raised 10,000 UAH in a day. Why the administration of Instagram (banned in the Russian Federation) does not react to these frames in any way is not clear.
Yes, this screenshot above links to a series of videos showing a bound POW being tortured to the tune of special discount sales on their ‘menu’ of horrors. You can go to the above account and see the videos for yourself if you’re not squeamish or don’t believe it.
3.) And here’s a new one I only learned of recently:
AFU ghouls are now selling personal letters from the children of deceased Russian servicemen as ‘souvenirs’ online:
So, what can I say other than…color me rather ‘apathetic’ about the Kraken video.
Onto other things. A new report from B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force, claims that Russia is interfering with U.S. satellites.
According to a top general in the U.S. Space Force, Russia has taken to using space weapons in its war against Ukraine. Russian forces have been jamming GPS signals from American satellites that are used by Ukrainian troops.
Despite jamming signals from the satellites, Moscow has not yet attempted to destroy any of them, and one expert believes it's because Russia's space capabilities are not yet completely developed and would not survive a conflict with a major world power.
"They have shown no qualms about testing these systems," Saltzman said on April 5 during a forum on space defense that was held by the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies.
"And they have every intention of using counter-space weapons in conflict, as we see in the war in Ukraine. We've seen cyberattacks against satellite internet providers as well as persistent SATCOM and GPS jamming," Saltzman added.
Russia conversely is reportedly working on a new integrated anti-satellite system which combines the previously known platforms of ground-based lasers, Il-76 air-based laser, and Mig-31 launched anti-sat missile.
Russia is creating a new combined anti-satellite system
The system will consist of the Kontakt missile system based on the MiG-31D fighter-interceptor, the Sokol-Eshelon combat laser on the Il-76 transport aircraft, and the Peresvet ground-based laser.
Combination is necessary for greater flexibility and the ability to influence targets with different methods: from laser radiation to missiles.
A few days ago, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the possibility of a "proper response" to the actions of Ukraine and Western countries that are trying to influence Russian civilian communications satellites.
This was after a new report that the U.S. was in fact trying to mess with Russian civilian satellite signals itself.
Other military news includes the announcement by Russian defense firm Rostec that the state trials have finished for the Arena-M APS (Active Protection System).
It has passed specific qualifications against newly-seized Western anti-tank systems, which means it’s now ready for showtime:
"The armor system has passed tests under an expanded program: not only against planned targets simulated by Russian-made ammunition, but also foreign trophy munitions seized by Russia. The armor suite has proven its efficiency," the Group said.
Preparations are currently at the final stage for accepting the Arena-M reactive armor suite for service as part of T-72 tanks, it said.
"The Russian Defense Ministry is interested in outfitting armored troops with the Arena-M suite as quickly as possible," the Group’s press office said.
They report the intention to arm Russian T-72’s and T-80’s with the system in the future ‘as soon as possible’. We’ll see if and how that actually materializes.
The T-14 Armata already comes pre-built with its own APS called Afganit, which is supposed to be even more advanced. For those who don’t know, the only current tank in the world with a standard APS system already being widely used is the Israeli Merkava with the ‘Trophy’ system, which the U.S. has adapted for their own Abrams, but only a small batch of the very latest M1A2 SEP3.
The system works by having small millimeter wave radar blocks positioned around the turret which detect incoming projectiles. They ignore anything traveling ‘too slow’ and filter it out, so you won’t set it off if you’re just a soldier tossing a snowball at the tank or something like that.
When the small radars detect the fast-moving object they release a canister of some type of explosive that basically kills the incoming threat.
Along a similar topic, the latest Russian anti-mine trawl which I spoke about before, the TMT-S has been seen in the SMO. It’s the most advanced trawl in the world as it works against electromagnetic proximity mines. A video can be seen here: VIDEO LINK.
And since someone has asked me by email previously about why drones can’t be used to clear mines, here’s an interesting new article on that topic:
A Canadian company is developing a drone with a ‘hyperspectral’ sensor which can detect the EMF emissions of electronic mines and potentially ‘map the battlefield’ by flying over it:
The way Draganfly's drone gets flown depends on the type of sensors being employed. The hyperspectral sensor – for capturing electromagnetic radiation beyond just the visible part of the spectrum – is used to get an overview of the landscape, so it gets flown at altitudes generally ranging from 40 to 400 feet.
I’ve saved the Bakhmut developments for last this time, so let’s begin on that.
There have in fact been major advances. Most notably, Wagner has finally broken through the key ‘rail line’ which bisected western Bakhmut from north to south.
Firstly, here’s a map showing the newly gained territory, more easily visualized this way:
This is a more clear view where you can see that everything west of the river in the middle was captured and the previous areas Russia was holding were consolidated. The tiny remaining fraction of the city can likely only hold for days rather than weeks.
Here’s a more granular view. As you can see the only AFU controlled territory that remains is that small portion in the west of the city which amounts to 5-10% as per estimates.
Here’s a broader map with some annotations by South Front:
And here’s just a plain map of the full city without the clutter, where it’s clearly visible how much Russia controls compared to the AFU:
Also, the following is an interesting map because Prigozhin announced that in this final push, Wagner forces have been relieved by Russian units all along the flanks, so that Wagner can be freed up to do the interior push. So Russian VDV and reportedly Spetsnaz are now guarding Wagner’s flank from the alleged ‘counter-attack’ that Ukraine was planning to launch on Wagner’s northwest flanks around Khromovo.
This map shows where Russian forces have taken over on the flanks.
The bright neon-colored green shows the zones newly transferred under control of Russia, while the lighter green is what Russian forces were already previously holding. New reports have spoken of Russian forces fighting alongside Wagner forces “side by side” for the first time in Bakhmut area.
This infact inadvertently highlights the capricious nature of Prigozhin, who just days ago released a statement that “he doesn’t know anything about” Russian units anywhere near Bakhmut and “has not seen them there”, stating only Wagner forces are in the area. Now suddenly he releases this with full avowal of the fact that Russian forces have taken over all Wagner’s substantial flanks.
It goes to show he’s either trolling or spreading deliberate disinfo to fool the other side in most of the things he says.
The last thing I wanted to talk about was to use Bakhmut to swing back around to the AFU offensive. But first let’s mention that I had already predicted way back in late last year, that after Bakhmut, Seversk would likely be next—not a direct assault westward to Chasiv Yar and Kramatorsk, etc.
The reason for this is fairly self-evident if you understand military strategy, as Seversk is now cut off from every single direction apart from a road leading west (the Donets River barricades it from the north), and is a sitting duck.
Seversk is key in order to progress Russian troops in the Kremennaya direction back towards Liman so that they could begin slowly enveloping Slavyansk from the north/northeast as they once were ready to do last year. This will be key for taking the Kramatorsk-Slavyansk agglomeration later on.
But now it appears Arestovich agrees, as well as another report I’ve seen:
When Bakhmut is liberated, the Wagners and the Russian Armed Forces will go not to the west, to Chas Yar, but to the north, to cut off the ledge in the Seversk area. This information is dispersed by Arestovich: "If they take Bakhmut, they will not go to Chasov Yar or Konstantinovka, they will cut to Seversk, and now the strongest Russian group is not near Bakhmut, but in the Limansky direction."
If you look at the map, it’s only natural because Seversk is already in a semi-cauldron:
Now onto the AFU offensive. Once again a lot of big numbers are being thrown around, with Prigozhin warning the Russian side not to take it lightly with the following:
"Don't underestimate the enemy. The same opinion was expressed by Prigozhin, who estimated the number of Ukrainian troops assembled for the counteroffensive at 200,000 (according to some sources, up to 400,000 personnel). According to a number of data, the Ukrainian garrison in Zaporizhzhya has more than 50,000 people, including fighters trained in the West and new equipment, including tanks. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, there are also large reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - at least 100-150 thousand people. Note that they are kept away from the front and will be brought into battle already on the go. The location is convenient, universal for almost any direction.
And the ISW claims the following for Russian forces:
As for the Russian forces, there is no information from our sources for obvious reasons. But the American Institute of War, with reference to the Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Dmitrashkovsky, reported that our military had concentrated 113 battalion tactical groups (BTG) in the Zaporozhye direction and 205 BTG in the Donetsk direction. Based on the fact that there can be 600-900 people in one BTG, this is in the range of 190-286 thousand reserve personnel who are not currently involved in hostilities. Solid number."
It’s uncertain how this channel extrapolated this to mean that those given BTGs are all non-committed reserve personnel. The original post from Ukraine’s Dmitrashkovsky did allude to Russia gathering this personnel in these regions “out of fear of” the coming Ukrainian offensive, so perhaps we can infer from that that these are defensive reserve type personnel, rather than ones actively partaking in combat or assaults.
If that’s the case then certainly it means Russia has more than enough reserves to deal with any Ukrainian incursion. I’m on record as stating that my personal number is that Russia should still have upwards of 150-250k of the mobilized uncommitted to combat, so that would chime with this report, but it’s impossible to know with absolute certainty.
However, some sources in the AFU are now waffling. A top Ukrainian channel called Come and See states:
AFU may postpone the offensive because of Artemovsk (Bakhmut)
According to "Come and See", the planned spring offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine may be postponed due to the critical situation near Artemovsk (Bakhmut).
“Bakhmut is devouring a lot of reserves. And it is not known how much more he will eat," said a channel source familiar with the situation in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
According to him, the Ukrainian command continues to transfer reserves to the Bakhmut direction, which should have been involved in the general offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Currently PMC "Wagner" controls more than 80% of Artemovsk. The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to hold the western part of the city for the time being.c
So, according to them, UA command continues to squander its reserves by sending them to Bakhmut. Of course, these are things I’ve already reported here as whispers over the course of the last couple months.
To add to this, a new page made public from the recent leaks states candidly that Ukraine’s Bakhmut losses are “catastrophic” and that GUR head Kiril Budanov was forced to send some of Ukraine’s most elite secret units to Bakhmut in order to ‘stabilize’ the situation.
Like last time, I won’t post the full page but transliterate it:
UAF in Bakhmut Almost Encircled; HUR Plans to Send in Elite Unit to Stabilize Catastrophic Situation
Ukrainian forces as of 25 february were almost operationally encircled by Russian forces in Bakhmut. Ukraine and Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) Chairman Kyrylo Budanov on 28 February ordered that an elite HUR combat unit be deployed there for 2 weeks to stabilize what he considered a “catastrophic” situation.
Ukrainian Presidential Office Deputy Roman Mashovets on 25 February provided Ukrainian Presidential Office Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak with an update, which assessed that the situation in Bakhmut was rather difficult. According to Mashovets, there was only one UAF supply road to Bakhmut, which was subject so shelling.
Mashovets reported that, for those reasons, the morale in Bakhmut was low, with the Ukrainian forces under the impression that they were almost operationally encircled. Budanov on 28 February explained to UAF Ground Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyy, HUR First Deputy Chief Maj. Gen. Oleh Ivashchenko, and a HUR officer identified only as Vova that HUR would bring in units to Bakhmut for a brief time to stabilize the situation. Budanov later relayed to Vova that the situation in Bakhmut was ‘catastrophic’ and Syrskyy declared a need for HUR’s Kraken unit to prevent the UAF from losing Bakhmut.
So it’s interesting to note that even as far back as February, internally they considered the Bakhmut situation already as ‘catastrophic’ (can’t imagine what they consider it now), while in their front-facing transmissions and public press releases they pretended everything was fine. Doubly interesting to see GUR head Budanov himself ordering Kraken units to stem the bleeding.
But the point of my posting that was to show actual evidence that the AFU has in fact been sending reserves including their most elite units to desperately hold Bakhmut.
This is all to say that, the notion that AFU has squandered its reserves for the offensives is not baseless. And in fact, despite that these ‘leaks’ and all the recent souring morale in the MSM appear potentially to be a concerted disinformation campaign to make Ukraine appear weak on the eve of their major offensive, I’m actually more and more inclined to believe the AFU truly has nothing left.
The 200-400k numbers being thrown around are absurd, the tanks and equipment are no where near enough and their ammo situation is catastrophic. Even if they were to make a ‘break through’, as one DPR commander recently said, “who will they send through the gap?”
More and more I’m beginning to think that there will be no real offensive. It will amount to nothing more than the infamous Kherson attempts long ago which were blown away with massive losses. And that’s not a change of mind due to the leaks—if anything the leaks would make me think the opposite, that the AFU could be much stronger than they let on. It’s simply a hunch formed of all the recent Ukrainian goings on and what I’m seeing on the field, coupled with how strong Russia has been getting in terms of the total stabilization of the frontlines and massive daily reports of its manufacturing and productive industrial progress.
I think they know the type of disaster they’re sitting on, and are just buying time for some magic unicorn moment to save them.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK gave us insight into this a few days ago when he said that for now the AFU’s losses are state secret, but one day they will be revealed and they will be a “horrible number”.
Ukraine will reveal the extent of its “horrible” losses once its conflict with Russia is over, Vadim Pristaiko, Kiev’s ambassador to the UK, said in an interview released on Friday.
Asked by British tabloid the Daily Express to comment on casualties among Ukrainian military personnel and civilians, Pristaiko said “it has been our policy from the start not to discuss our losses.”
“When the war is over, we will acknowledge this. I think it will be a horrible number,” he added.
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