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SITREP 6/11/23: Ukraine Reorients and Makes Breakthroughs on Eastern Axis
Yesterday was a fairly slow day of consolidations so we took a break. But now it’s time to summarize the new developments, which begin with the latest battlefield updates.
Ukraine has run into a brickwall on the western Zaporozhye front near Orekhov where the Russian 42nd division of the 58th army continues to strongly hold the line.
So instead they’ve reconcentrated their efforts on the eastern wing near Velyka Novosilka.
In that direction they are now experiencing relatively strong gains, or at least that’s how it outwardly looks. But the truth is, the settlements/hamlets they’ve captured were already sort of in a gray zone that continues to switch hands daily. For instance Neskuchne which they appeared to have captured was already in their hands days ago and Russia took it back over.
The main thinking is that here, Russia commands all the heights and these small hamlets are in the very low zone, which gives Russia a very favorable advantage in creating a killbox to rain artillery down on the AFU who’ve hubristically advanced inside of it:
You can see above Neskuchne and Blagodatne are the areas AFU has said to have taken. As one analyst notes:
Neskuchnoye and Blahodatne settlements will change hands several more times in the coming hours and days. As long as UA has no control over the heights here, and does not advance further south, everything is completely under control. RU units see the enemy in the settlements from almost all sides as they control the heights. It won't be worth staying there long for UA if they can't push further south. They suffer significant losses.
Some other maps to illustrate the situation:
For now, the advances are not huge worries as such withdrawals to better positions are to be expected. Russian forces are not being ‘overrun’ but simply baiting the Ukrainians on. And the Russian forces which are at these advanced positions are not really dug in but are rather the forward screening lines. After all, how can you be dug in in a position which has changed hands 3-4 times in the past week.
These mobile forces are really only there to attrit the advancing AFU as much as possible, while also giving intel for artillery/air support, before withdrawing to actual prepared defensive positions.
However, that’s not to say there’s no danger of it somehow snowballing; we’ll have to wait and see and for now there are too few of the more important details—such as for instance casualty rates and who is getting the better of the equipment losses, etc.
We have some, just not many yet. For instance this frontline report:
It claims that Ukraine is suffering 10 losses to 1 Russian loss in this direction as we speak. Hard to believe what’s true for now so we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground but certainly a huge amount of videos of Ukrainian armor losses are coming out today, though admittedly they could be from a variety of frontline directions.
Vremivsky Sector: situation at the end of June 11, 2023 AFU controls Blahodatne, attacks on Makarivka and Urozhaine (villages under control of RAF) there is no AFU success on west Uhledar direction RAF undermined dam on Mokry Yaly river
A top Russian analyst channel also had these words to curb unrealistic expectations:
➡️ "Unofficial Bezsonov"
Friends, if someone expected that the Ukrainian offensive would be repulsed without temporary loss of some villages or some advanced positions, then you are far from military topics. The initiative was and still remains with the enemy, who calculated the forces and means for a successful breakthrough of our front. As expected in an offensive, the enemy threw more infantry and equipment into battle than we had on the defensive. Despite this, the goals of the enemy’s offensive plan to break through our front and enter the operational space failed in the first 3 days with huge losses for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In the first two days in the Zaporozhye direction, we lost two positions, which we returned on the third day. In the South-Donetsk direction, the enemy is loudly declaring progress in some areas, most of which was the territory of the gray zone. Regular military work is going on.
From a message from the South-Donetsk direction:
- How are you?
- Hold on. A rod from everywhere without ceasing. It is difficult to say how much we mowed them down, but a lot. Everything's under control.
As you can see, the Russian frontline correspondents and soldiers reporting from the zone are calm and optimistic at the moment. They do believe they are mowing the AFU down while slowly leading them on into the gray zone.
One important thing this segues into is something I had planned to cover previously, and which has to do with the Russian tactics on all the frontlines. Also, it happens to make a perfect addendum to my previous report on the situation with the mines, and how Ukraine is attempting to breach the minefields.
For a few days now there’ve been rumors of Russia utilizing their new and advanced ISDM Zemledeliye or ‘Agriculture’ mining system. This is a system I’ve reported on previously long ago, but has not had much to write about yet as it has seen limited use. I refrained from mentioning it apropos this offensive because despite rumors, I saw no actual clear indication or proof it was being used. There was one video I posted on my video channel long ago, closer to the beginning of the SMO, and then there were rumors and an AFU video more recently (months ago) that allegedly one ISDM system was destroyed by the AFU, though their drone footage looked unclear to me. But at least this did give some evidence the system is being used on the frontline.
Other analysts like the popular Military Summary channel explained how Russia has been using it:
But now definitive proof has been released for the first time, showing Russian forces utilizing this remote mining system on the Zaporozhye front:
The 291st Guards Motor Rifle Regiment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation uses the ISDM Zemledeliye remote mine-laying system against the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zaporozhye region / southern Donetsk region.
The Military Summary video above offers explanation for how Russia may have cleverly destroyed all those Leopards and Bradleys which dovetails with my own previous report I mentioned.
In short: it appears that Russia is allowing the Western-supplied mine breachers/clearers to do their work, then allowing the Leopards and Bradleys to advance to a certain point. Then as the armor groupings are being engaged by Russian ambush forces and attack copters, the ISDM remote-mining system is being used to spray mines all over the rear retreat corridors of the AFU grouping.
How the ISDM works is it’s in some sense a mini MLRS that launches tubes which spread the mines all over a field en masse and quickly:
It has a claimed 10-15km range and automated firing as well as many advanced features, such as: the mines can be programmable (depending on mine type) to either self-destruct or go inert after a certain time. This allows you to heavily mine the enemy without worrying that those same mines will affect your own future offensive through that corridor. Secondly, it gives you a networked computer-mapped image of roughly where the mines are spread so you can keep track of the minefields on digital maps.
As can be seen each system can fire off up to 50 casettes each holding a dozen mines. That means within seconds, a single unit can lay upwards of 600 mines, and several units together can create a vast impenetrable minefield in moments.
This brings me back to an important point. After my last article, many people in the comments offered views on how Ukraine or a Western/NATO force could deal with Russia’s prepared defensive lines and minefields. The fact is, you can see that with the advent of such systems as the above, there exists virtually no possible method of “properly” advancing in ‘textbook fashion’. Even as you clear the minefield, your enemy can easily re-lay the field instantaneously, negating all of your effort.
And guess what? This exact tactic has already been provably used by the AFU against Russia in Ugledar. In fact, I wrote about it in detail. Here’s a screenshot from this article of mine from months ago:
Note that I specifically stated they used RAAM mines to do this. These are exactly the ‘remote anti-armor mining’ systems we’re talking about, of which family the ISDM is a part.
So the fact is, there is no ‘doctrine’ that can stop this. No matter how many mine breaching apparatuses and advanced FWMP mine-clearers you have, when your enemy can just scatter thousands of mines to your immediate rear, completely blocking your exist, in a matter of seconds, it makes the problem quite intractable.
The West gave a harsh assessment of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine American and European military experts said that the UAF counteroffensive violated the basic rules of military tactics. This is reported by the portal Asia Times.
“We tried to tell them to stop this piecemeal and suicidal tactic, identify the main attack with proper infantry support, and then do what they can,” a senior European officer said. In his opinion, the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine run in five different directions. Also, the tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine went to the minefields, not letting the demining vehicles forward. This resulted in the loss of 38 tanks on the night of 8 June. One of the experts added that the Ukrainian military was trained in this in the UK. “ The Ukrainians were trying to play Guderian,” one of the military experts said , “only Guderian had 3,000 tanks, and these idiots just lost the 30 they had .”
You can’t really “train” your way around this, no matter how ‘advanced’ your training is. The only way to deal with such a problem is by having either air superiority or at least a huge arsenal of air and long range systems with immaculate intel/ISR, which can actively destroy such systems from afar prior to your maneuver groups getting trapped in killzones.
The only issue for Russia is presumably they don’t have that many of these systems, as it’s a relatively new system. And this strategy doesn’t work as well in areas that have much greater variability of combat corridors. Even if you can scatter thousands of mines, it’s still a drop in the bucket in areas where there are huge open swaths of land that give the enemy endless options for advancing.
The area where the AFU are currently advancing, like around Novodonetsk, has much more open ground and is likely not as conducive to this strategy. Near the Orekhov front—like around Lobokov, etc.—there appear many more small Russian-controlled settlements/hamlets which force the AFU into more restricted and narrower corridors of advancing, which create such favorable mining opportunities for the defender.
Keep in mind, it’s been confirmed several times now that AFU is doing the same thing to Russia’s rear even as they advance. They are using Western 155mm and German MARS (M270/HIMARS equivalent) systems to shoot German AT2 mines right into Russia’s logistic lines feeding the Zaporozhye grouping.
❗️🇷🇺🇺🇦 Speaking of mines (https://t.me/rybar/48379), the AFU also actively use anti-tank mines with the M73 magnetic sensor. Several of these were found near Blagodatny in the DPR. They are part of the RAAM remote mining system and nine of these ammunition are placed in the 155th M718 projectile.
M73 are equipped with a special sensor. The fuse reacts to the magnetic field of the machine, as a result of which a cumulative jet is ejected, which pierces the bottom. M73 are of the K-Kill type - the destruction of the tank and crew.
Time of combat work - 48 hours. The mines themselves cannot be defused. At the same time, they do not have any markings and distinctive signs, which complicates their visual identification.
The AFU deliberately scatter them along the roadsides near the settlements - this is where columns of military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces can pass. In addition, due to the rather fragile body, they cannot be placed on a hard surface. This explains their discovery in the grass or fields.
One analyst writes:
🇷🇺🇺🇦 Another panorama of the defeated column of the AFU with a cemetery of Western-made armored vehicles. At least three M2A2 ODS Bradleys were completely burned out and even theoretically could not be evacuated to the rear for repairs.
As the Military Informant channel writes, without the presence of mine trawls and mine clearing vehicles (MCVs), such trips to minefields will end the same way. However, neither one nor the other is a panacea today.
▪️ The main problem of MCVs is the relatively small width and depth of the passage, insufficient to form a safe corridor for the passage of armored vehicles. It is typical for both the Soviet UR-77 and Western models, like the M58 MICLIC.
▪️ At the same time, the disadvantage of many mine sweepers is their impressive weight, which can reach as much as almost 8 tons. This greatly reduces the speed of the tanks and their maneuverability, as a result of which the entire column is forced to move much more slowly and become an easier target for aircraft, artillery and anti-tank systems.
So the issue of overcoming minefields during an offensive is very relevant today both for the Russian Armed Forces and the AFU, and for any even the most advanced other armies in the world. At the moment, virtually no one has effective means of demining.
And as of this writing, a new scene of massacre has been revealed which only serves to further underscore everything we’re talking about. Apparently, another breach attempt in one of the directions in Zaporozhye was repulsed with horrible results for the AFU. But it gives a new eye-opening angle into the mine situation. See for yourself:
And here’s the scene someone fully pieced together into one seamless picture:
In the above scene are:
2x Leopard 2A6
3x Leopard 2R HMBVs (mine breaching vehicle)
Bergepanzer 2 armoured recovery vehicle
By the way, notice the two Leopard 2R HMBVs at the very front near the MaxxPro. Notice how they are side by side and creating a much wider two-lane furrow. This is an interesting insight into Ukraine’s ‘Nato-trained tactics’ as they are clearly making a fairly wide road together with the tanks operating in tandem. Yet somehow, they also bit the bullet at the same time it seems.
A top pro-Ukrainian account attests to the devastation of this loss:
You can see the large furrows the breaching vehicles created in the ground to try to fight the minefield, but in the end it didn’t matter. When your opponent outmatches you 10 to 1 in artillery and 100 to 1 in air assets, there’s little you can do.
And by the way, a new AFP article even confirms the large scale nature of the Bradley losses straight from the Ukrainian soldiers themselves:
So just from one Bradley unit (there were several involved in the push) 9 out of 10 Bradleys were knocked out. They claim three are ‘reparable’ but it’s doubtful whether they can even recover them as they may very well be in Russian controlled territory.
As for the bottom statement about the information leak, funnily enough, some are blaming Poroshenko:
Correspondent Sladkov let’s us in on some new AFU tactics utilized in the assaults:
On the Zaporizhia front, the enemy began massive artillery fire on our positions. The enemy is employing a new tactic: Ukrainian chemical defense vehicles are blowing smoke, possibly masking the movement of their assault columns. Smoke is a capricious phenomenon, subject to the wind. Observation and orientation are impaired as they move. The entire front line and approaches are under our control.
And a soldier from the front writes about the situation south of Novosilka which is developing as we speak, and where AFU is actually making its breakthroughs:
“The Vremievsky ledge on which I fought fell.
Already lost are not only the positions on which I stood, but practically reached my point of temporary deployment in the rear (10 km from the front).
This was expected, because the prepared defense lines were erected even further at Staromlynovka and closer to Krasnaya Polyana.
Their construction took place before my eyes. We had many questions then why they were preparing for defense far beyond the house where we live.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine did not have an easy walk, their losses in equipment and people are significant. The defensive lines of Surovikin are placed correctly and they have not yet been approached, most likely, the new line of control will pass through them.
When they break through, it will be possible to say that the counteroffensive was successful. If not, it will just be a new line of control with the potential to freeze the conflict.
While there are bloody clashes, it is too early to draw conclusions. We are waiting for weeks of fighting, hundreds of burnt equipment on both sides and thousands of people who did not return from the battle.
I hope all civilians will be taken out. There are many sympathizers in those territories, we would not want to leave them to be slaughtered by maniacs from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
So what he says is, the forward positions I spoke about earlier fell, but were expected to fall. He correctly points out that the main line of defense was built further back at Staromlynovka:
That town is where the famous Russian main first line of defense begins. You know the one everyone’s been talking about for so long, and which the Telegraph made a new report on:
🇺🇦😭 The Telegraph explains the reasoning behind Ukrane's failure in their 'counteroffensive' - "The Russians have built "incredible fortifications" up to 30 kilometers deep on a 1000-kilometer front, which are simply impossible to break through."
“Ukrainian troops need to break through the carefully built network of Russian defenses" - the fortifications stretched for hundreds of kilometers in anticipation of a counteroffensive. Satellite images show arrays of minefields, anti-tank ditches and trenches blocking the way for the advance of the Ukrainian army to the south.
Here is how some are envisioning the new developing lines:
🇺🇦⚔️🇷🇺The blue line is approximate LCCC* before the attack, the red line is about to become LCCC in the coming days.
Green is potentially the next line of defense.
The purple line along the red dots is the "Surovikin line" and Russian Army fortifications(mines,field fortifications,etc).
So the AFU is waiting for many more tests and the front will not collapse so easily as AFU and West curators would like to.
Russian Army invested so much time and efforts in constructing these defenses,there are few fortified lines behind each other,attacking them without air,artillery superiorty is literally sucide
* Line of current combat contact
The blue line at the very top is where the most forward positions of Russia just were recently. Now Ukraine is pushing them back all the way to the red. Green is where the next full defense line may be but purple is “the big one”, the main first true Maginot defense line as per the Telegraph photos above.
Pegov at Wargonzo, from the front, gave a slightly more sobering assessment of the advances:
⚡️Urgent⚡️Situation around Velika Novoselovka at 23:00 Moscow time⚡️
The enemy continues to advance at the junction of the areas of responsibility of the 5th Army and the Cascade OBTF, which, in principle, was predictable.
The enemy entered the settlement. Makarovka, which is a more serious loss than Neskuchnoe, as it is at its best. If the enemy manages to consolidate the success, then he will definitely try to use this point as a springboard for further actions.
So far, the advancement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this area is no more than five kilometers deep into our territory.
On the one hand, they failed to jump out into the operational space - they should have the second and third lines of defense in front of them. However, on the other hand, we do not share assessments in spirit – these territories do not play a big role. Of course, they play - our boys are fighting for every piece of land.
Another thing is that at a certain moment the question of expediency arises from the point of view of preserving one's own resource in order to continue further defense. After all, the enemy also deals damage - not only we burn their Leopards.
Now it is necessary to keep the enemy away from Staromlynovka. If the Armed Forces of Ukraine succeed, the situation may become critical and much more dangerous than many people think now.
Ukraine continues to assert they haven’t committed the bulk of their forces yet:
"But a source in Ukraine’s general staff urged caution. “We haven’t committed our main forces, and the Russians haven’t committed their main forces.” Both were involved in a “chess game” to draw out each others’ reserves, he said. "
And as you can see, the idea is that both sides are attempting to ‘draw out’ their reserves.
🇺🇦🇷🇺"The total grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zaporozhye direction, according to our data, exceeds 100 000 militants. At the moment, a relatively small group is directly involved in the offensive." - politican from "We Are Together with Russia" Vladimir Rogov
“More of it [aviation] is now being used in the Zaporizhia sector than has been deployed at any time since the opening stages of the war. But Ukrainian sources suggest that Russian pilots remain risk averse” -Economist
And right now there are indications that Kiev is about to broaden the front in a large way. Ukraine has been spotted sending large groupings toward the Kharkov region in what is believed to be a planned offensive on the Kupyansk and Seversk directon, as well as Chasov Yar. Here are some of the indications:
Ukrainian air defence system SAMP-T was pinpointed on Lyman direction: there is a high probability of activisation of Seversk - Kremennaya frontline.
But what’s confusing is, there were other reports that the flood of reinforcements was going the other way:
❗️ Urgent supplement on the operational situation on the Zaporizhzhia front.
Heavy losses forced the enemy to make drastic adjustments to its plans:
Reserves deployed on the Krivoy Rog, Sumy and Kharkiv directions are being transferred:
1). Gornyak, Kurakhovka, Krasnogorovka, Staromikhailovka, Marinka;
2) Nevelske, Pervomayske, Vodyane;
3) Dzerzhynske settlement, at least 2 brigades moved in the direction of Maiorsk and Horlivka.
Reserves go through the Kramatorsk-Slaviansk transport hub, entering each direction in Zaporizhzhya and Donetsk regions to reinforce the current groupings.
Here is one detailed analysis of how the AFU reportedly prepares to strike toward their objective and sever the Crimean landbridge:
As for the current groupings, it has been established:
According to the enemy's strategic plan, it is planned to push through the leading edge of defence along the line Nesterianka - Novoselovka and to the south, by four brigades: 65 Obrbr, 128 OGR, 108 OBR, 15 OBR NSU), and provide a bridgehead for the main forces of the strike grouping to enter.
The main strike grouping is aimed at the direction of Orekhov - Tokmak - Melitopol, the advance is planned to be provided by the forces of 10 AK, the main strike grouping should be: 115, 116, 117, 118 Ombra, about which we spoke earlier.
Objective: to reach Melitopol to the north.
The flank strike is planned in the direction Malaya Tokmachka - Berdyansk, by 82 ODF, 71 OEBR, and 46 OAEMR, with the task to seize control at the line of Urozhaynoe, Novopoltavka, Semenovka.
Objective: To cover the left flank of the main grouping.
In the future it is planned to conduct raids as part of battalion-tactical groups by forces: 46 OAEMR and 1 JSN "Azov" in the directions of Mordvinovka, Novovasilevka, Botievo.
The task: to capture the line along the Azov Sea coast Stepanivka first, Botievo and prevent the landing of an amphibious assault by the Russian Armed Forces.
The main offensive force grouping up to 12 brigades (47, 66, 115, 116, 117, 118 Obrbr, 128 Ogshbr, 108 Rtd, 15 OTR NGU, 82 Obr, 71 Oyebr, 46 OAEM)
In total, for the conduct of the offensive operation, including reserves (including brigades of marines, as well as units located in the Krivoy Rog area, included in the single operation plan in the Zaporizhzhya direction) at the moment the enemy has prepared
Living strength - up to 56 thousand people (68 battalions).
Tanks - up to 350.
Armoured combat vehicles of all types - up to 1000
Field artillery guns and mortars - up to 500.
MLRS - up to 140 units.
(From these figures one must subtract the number of those destroyed in recent days)
What will the APU do next?
A series of attacks conducted in the Zaporizhia direction suggests that the Ukrainian army, despite the increased number of attacking units, continues to look for a gap in the defensive lines of the Russian Armed Forces. An attack in the same direction for each company-tactical group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (in total, about five of them can operate in the direction of the main strike at the moment) is carried out at least twice, after which reserves arrive at the place of the destroyed compound.
These reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not infinite, but it will take time for all of them to be ground up in attacks. The effectiveness of the actions of the artillery and aviation of the Russian Armed Forces in this case is at an altitude: in one night flight, the Ka-52 combat helicopter destroys five to seven targets, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. However, even in such conditions, the intensity of fighting remains high. In the coming days, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will increase their attacks.
At the moment, the main problem of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is that it is almost impossible to approach the first line of defense due to the installed mines, the activity of artillery, aviation of the Russian Armed Forces, and the operation of electronic warfare systems that suppress communications and GPS navigation signals, as well as control channels for drones. (Military chronicle of TG)
And this report claims that NATO is scrambling to resupply the ongoing offensive to suicidally break through Russia’s lines at all costs. This is the second report now that emphasizes that the next week or so will be decisive for the entire war.
After the first unsuccessful phase of the offensive, the opponent began regrouping troops. In the NATO Operational Headquarters, deployed under Warsaw and, who oversees the conduct of hostilities against Russia, completed the mathematical model of the new option of the offensive, the necessary directives are given, and now there is an accelerated preparation for it.
The AFU still retain large prepared and previously used reserves - up to 50 thousand people - at least 12 brigades. But, besides this, the troops are transferred from the secondary directions for two days (no less than three brigades from the border with Belarus are filmed). From the training centers urgently gives replenishment to the brigades that suffered losses in the previous five days. Taking into account the reserves, the total number of grouping by the morning will be brought to the morning of June 12, not less than 65 thousand people.
American curators demanded from the command of the AFU at any cost to achieve a fracture and break through the Russian front. The rate is made on the overall weakening of the Russian defensive line by previous battles, losses that have suffered the advanced Russian parts during these battles, serious destruction of fortification structures, the final opening of mine fields and partial demining them. It is announced that the advanced Russian line of defense is weakened by more than 40% and is no longer the same insurmountable as it was in the first days, as they testify some of the success of the last days - the promotion of 1.5 - 2 kilometers in several directions.
Also, Ukrainians convince, in the fact that the Russian army in the next three days will face the problem of lack of ammunition for artillery and will have to move to the most severe economy regime. From the warehouses of the United States and NATO in Europe to Ukraine without any received notice, 1000 PZRK "Stinger" is transferred, 2000 PTRT of different modifications, 600 shells "Escalibur", not less than 10 radar artillery Intelligence, at least 100 "High Mars packages", from the UK, Ramstein flew out a military transport aircraft with a cargo of Storm Shadow missiles, which, apparently, are also intended for the ASS.
Also from Poland received information requiring confirmation that several divisions of Polish Poprad and OSA-P SPR (air defense), which in the coming hours should be deployed from Poland to Ukraine, which should be deployed in the battle To cover the areas of deploying Ukrainian reserves from the strikes of Russian VKS. Calculations of the complexes of disguise in the form of the AFU.
Obviously, the American command, perfectly giving himself a report of the price of the failed offensive of the AFU, relies "for everything" - drives the Ukrainian army in the battle, not considered any losses, nor with possible catastrophic consequences, in case failures and spent reserves. The task at all costs to break the Russian front and break through the depth of Russian defense. And therefore the next five to seven days, as we have already written, will become defining for the whole year.
I’ve mentioned before how previous reports indicated Ukraine may only have as little as two weeks worth of high-intensity action in them based on the allocations of munitions. However, there’s no telling how certain this is and several reports state that it is in fact Ukraine that is now counting on Russian forces to become depleted from the mass amounts of ammo expenditure that Russian artillery has ramped up to.
Our source at the OP said that the Biden administration warned the Office of the President about the consequences of the failure of the counter-offensive in Crimea. The Armed Forces of Ukraine must demonstrate the ability to conduct offensive operations against well-prepared enemy defenses so that we can receive new weapons at the NATO summit.
Ukrainian media: Western equipment will last for 2-3 weeks During the first days of the counter-offensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were unable to open the first line of defense of the enemy, while losing more than a hundred pieces of equipment. “ If frontal attacks continue, then our reserves will last for 2-3 weeks, after which the Armed Forces of Ukraine will lose all Western equipment transferred this year by our partners ,” Ukrainian publics report
Some on the Russian side have even pointed to major problems. Well known Russian firebrand journalist takes a similar tack to that of Prigozhin and Strelkov in a new incendiary message towards Shoigu over perceived shortages:
Artyom Sheinin turned to Sergei Shoigu.
“I received insider information from the front line, a fierce counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is underway in the Dnieper direction, and while you are sitting there in your offices and saying that everything is fine with us, our boys are sitting there without supplies! Today they personally sent me all the evidence that the boys don’t have shit there, they even have problems with food! What do you call it? Is this our path to victory? — this is your way to huge pockets! I will not be silent, no matter how much you shut up. In my telegram channel, I have already published all the evidence and a short interview with the fighters in the Dnieper direction, people will know everything!” - said Artyom Sheinin.
But as always, I caution everyone to take such reports with a grain of salt as they almost always revolve around isolated incidents that should not necessarily be extrapolated to the whole front. I’ve seen many other reports along the fronts where things are operating very smoothly, but it’s still important to note both angles, just in case. Sladkov, for instance, specifically remarked on how recently ammunition has been flowing like never before.
And naturally, there will be problems on both sides. AFU, for instance, has renewed complaints about the inadequacy of Western supplied equipment:
Ukrainian military dissatisfied with their officers and NATO equipment
This was reported in the material of the newspaper The Wall Street Journal. Due to weather conditions, Western cars have difficulty moving through the territory of Ukraine.
“ Western vehicles were built for urban combat and the desert. In our reality, although they can pass, this is a struggle, ”said the Ukrainian commander with the call sign Finn.
He also complained about the insufficient training of some officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and their lack of combat experience, which leads them to "disorientation in stressful situations."
In the Zaporzhye region, by the way, it is now raining, and residents report that in such weather, not only tanks but also ordinary cars get stuck on dirt roads.
Also, there were several reports that after the devastating losses of Western equipment, the AFU began to switch tactics. For instance:
Zaporizhia direction, Vremievsky ledge, June 11, 10:30
All night the enemy left no attempts to break through our line of defense. According to reports from the field, the armed forces arrived in several waves. Note that they have somewhat changed tactics.
If for several days in a row we first met their armored formations and successfully burned them, now they are throwing meat forward in the form of infantry, striking with artillery and missiles to suppress our combat potential, and only then NATO equipment
Apparently, Zelya and the military leadership realized that the lives of ordinary Ukrainian soldiers are not that important, so it's better to save on equipment.
In any case, we repulsed the attacks, the bodies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and damaged equipment remain on the battlefield
And there were a couple reports that the battered 47th brigade which took the brunt of the damage near Orekhov was pulled off the line:
The 21st and 22nd mechanized brigades were pulled from the Shiroky Lan Military Training Center in Nikolaev region and were sent to the Zaporozhye "meat grinder", as the 31st and 47th mechanized brigades were very badly battered, and they refuse to continue their offensive attempts.
And that the Leopards have all been sent to the rear and will not be used again unless there’s a “breakthrough”:
Unconfirmed but according to voindv, UA appears to have drawn back their leos after last few days disasters.
Ka-52 pilots reporting only seeing IFV's and APC's during this night and morning. Allegedly they will only be brought forward in case of breakthrough of several km's.
And information about potential losses:
What are the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the offensive?
For less than a week, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in all areas of the offensive amount to about one reinforced battalion per day-800-1000 people + equipment. Thus, during the five days of the offensive, Ukrainian troops lost about 4-5 thousand people killed and wounded, that is, a reinforced mechanized brigade.
So far, data on the training of three army corps as a reserve for the offensive have not been confirmed. Units and formations that have already taken part in the defense of certain sections of the front are thrown into the offensive. Some units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for example, the 36th and 37th Marine Brigades (OBrMP), the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade, abandoned in Zaporozhye, were withdrawn twice before the offensive because of heavy losses.
But let’s switch to another important development. Some sources like Rybar believe that Europe is going onto a war footing in light of recent statements and troop movements.
🇬🇧According to information from the Russian media Rybar, in Poland there is an active preparation of units for an immediate commitment to war "not only against Russia, but also against Belarus."
This same medium explained that its sources in the Norwegian army reported a "massive" recruitment of contracted paramedics and doctors. These alleged recruits do not "have the right to divulge further details, including the exact destination" and the departure date of most recruits is June 23, with a 6-month contract.
Rybar comments that at the end of June "a large group of mercenaries, medics and doctors from Scandinavian countries" with experience in fighting "as part of a NATO multinational combat group" will arrive on Ukrainian territory.
So, NATO countries are having large scale stealth recruitment drives for combat medics, and then there are increased reports of NATO members like Poland and some of the Baltics preparing to push for NATO intervention of some sort in Ukraine:
🇩🇪🤡🇺🇦🇷🇺 “If NATO intervened in this conflict, it would be legitimate from the point of view of international law”.
More so, NATO "would be allowed to come to the aid of the defending side and on Russian soil."
Such dreams were stated an interview with T-Online by military expert from the German Foreign Policy Society, Christian Mölling.
Before you panic, recall that Poland had already strongly pressed for ‘troops on the ground’ as early as last March, and nothing came of it. Not to mention that the sentiment of Polish society appears to run quite counter to these reports.
A poll of Polish people. Note the ‘sending troops’ option:
However, there is certainly a feeling of a heightening danger as events peak towards a climax around us:
There are increasingly dangerous calls by lunatic and desperate pundits from the West as seen above.
Other recent articles, like this one from Politico, continue supporting the idea that the offensive is nothing more than an attempt to get a favorable negotiations position at the upcoming ceasefire:
The upshot is a much vaguer aim: for Ukraine to inflict as many losses and make as many territorial gains as possible to strengthen its hand as it tries to reach a modus vivendi with a weakened Russia. By this way of thinking, a positive outcome would be for Ukraine’s new Western-armed brigades to sever the land bridge between Russia and the Crimean peninsula or to get close enough to endanger Russian positions in Crimea.
Most Western officials expect more modest gains, however, with Ukraine taking back and holding less strategic slices of the territory it has lost in the past year, but at least demonstrating that it can still make headway on the battlefield. In the pessimistic view, the Ukrainians struggle to get past Russian defences, make only minor gains and end up in a stalemate.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs made waves with a similarly bleak headline:
They argue that the conflict is in an interminable stalemate that can only lead to endless years of suffering with neither side able to make a decisive blow against the other:
But it is now time that the United States develop a vision for how the war ends. Fifteen months of fighting has made clear that neither side has the capacity—even with external help—to achieve a decisive military victory over the other. Regardless of how much territory Ukrainian forces can liberate, Russia will maintain the capability to pose a permanent threat to Ukraine. The Ukrainian military will also have the capacity to hold at risk any areas of the country occupied by Russian forces—and to impose costs on military and civilian targets within Russia itself.
They quote the following statistic to make their point:
A study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, using data from 1946 to 2021 compiled by Uppsala University, found that 26 percent of interstate wars end in less than a month and another 25 percent within a year. But the study also found that “when interstate wars last longer than a year, they extend to over a decade on average.” Even those that last fewer than ten years can be exceptionally destructive. The Iran-Iraq war, for example, lasted for nearly eight years, from 1980 to 1988, and resulted in almost half a million combat fatalities and roughly as many wounded. After all its sacrifices, Ukraine deserves to avoid such a fate.
The author, who is part of the Rand group, believes a long term ‘stalemate’ would hurt the West more than Russia:
A long war between Russia and Ukraine will also be highly problematic for the United States and its allies, as a recent RAND study I co-authored with the political scientist Miranda Priebe shows. A protracted conflict would keep the risk of possible escalation—either to Russian nuclear use or to a Russian-NATO war—at its current elevated level. Ukraine would be on near-total economic and military life support from the West, which will eventually cause budgetary challenges for Western countries and readiness problems for their militaries. The global economic fallout of the war, including the volatility in grain and energy prices, would persist. The United States would be unable to focus its resources on other priorities, and Russian dependence on China would deepen. Although a long war would also further weaken Russia, that benefit does not outweigh these costs.
But this all brings us to the final big point, which is that now there are sudden overtures being made towards this possible negotiations everyone is starting to foresee. I reported last time on recent ‘strange’ statements from the likes of Reznikov, which have gone against his previous staunch stances.
Quoting Eric Ciaramella from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Economist article outlines his thinktank’s proposals for NATO guarantees to Ukraine at the upcoming portentous NATO summit in Vilnius on July 15 :
Mr Ciaramella sets out a five-point proposal to give Ukraine “less than Article 5 but more than the Budapest Memorandum”. This includes legally codified commitments to help-Ukraine defend itself, inspired in part by those that America gives to Israel and Taiwan, to ensure they endure regardless of who is in power in America and Europe. He also advocates multi-year commitments to arm Ukraine; support to rebuild Ukraine’s arms industry; mechanisms for political consultation like nato’s Article 4; and a clear path to eu membership. All this would not be an alternative to nato membership, but a bridge towards it. The goal, much like those hoped-for territorial gains in Ukraine’s counter-offensive, would be to demonstrate to Russia that there is nothing to be gained by prolonging the war.
But a Russian Senator from Crimea recently stated the following:
How do we reconcile these two clashing narratives? On one hand we have whispers of NATO preparations for war escalations against Russia, and on the other, signs that the West is seeking to freeze the conflict if the Ukrainian offensive peters out.
I’ve said this before, but to me it indicates the varied nature of reality, and that there is not one uniform faction in the West, but several vying for contention. As always, I believe the war hawks are making their internal plans to eternally escalate while the realists are preparing to freeze the conflict. However, there is zero indication from the Russian side that the conflict will be frozen, so the big question that remains is what will both sides of the West do once they realize that Putin will not roll over to another ‘Minsk’-style trick?
I’ve said before that the next likely tranche of ‘wonder weapons’ to buoy the AFU survival narrative will be the F-16s. So it’s likely that they can be used as the big perk-up after a devastated AFU is faced with an unrelenting Russian army refusing to ‘negotiate’.
The timeline of such events now appears to be roughly around August give or take. I know I relayed the rumors that the AFU may have only 2-3 weeks max for their offensive, with one of the weeks already down. But realistically I can see them straining it out for at least a month or two simply because one eternal adage we’ve all discovered in this war is that no matter how much someone cries and whines (Prigozhin, I’m looking at you), there appears to never be a true shortage of ammunition on either side. There are only shortages of convenience, but the AFU can likely stretch their ammo at the cost of their lives for quite a while longer. They’ll take much more casualties by using less shells but they’ll continue to hammer it out.
But by August-September one can only imagine that some type of turning point will be upon us, which may usher in a new phase of the conflict. Given that Russia hasn’t launched a true widescale offensive yet, it’s only natural that this could be the time for Russia to finally unfurl its wings and give the world what it’s been waiting for.
But I’ll cover what I truly think will happen in more detail in a separate report, as I prefer to give a more thorough analysis with all the possibilities ranked by their likelihoods.
For now, let’s turn to a few final sundry items.
First, just to give voice to alternative takes, here’s what Strelkov thinks of the AFU offensive so far and its future prospects:
Strelkov: Fighting continues on the Zaporizhia front. The "fog of war", which tightly tightened the place of a major battle, does not allow you to follow its progress in detail. So far, it is only clear that my forecast that the APU will not stop the offensive in the Melitopol direction is justified. The enemy continues to attack fiercely and bring fresh reserves into battle.
It is also clear that he again failed to break through the front last night, and there is no serious progress. Meanwhile, losses are growing, and reserves are being spent. I believe that such insistence on the enemy will last another 4-5 days. If by that time the resistance of our troops does not weaken and the enemy does not feel the weakening of our defense (due to lack of ammunition, for example), the enemy's attacks will subside and/or he will move the direction of attack to some other part of the front.
In this regard, the enemy's persistence looks somewhat strange precisely in the area where he met the most severe resistance without the slightest success and cannot yet move "from the word at all".- After all, to the west of Ugledar - on the so - called Vremevsky salient-tactical successes (by now completely eliminated) were on the first day, and it would be logical to attack with the main forces and develop success there (now it's too late, of course).
On the face of the obvious mistake of the AFU command and the lack of flexibility in leading the offensive. On the other hand, the transfer of large masses of troops and equipment near the front is fraught with large losses on the marches.
In any case , the battle has only just begun, the enemy is driving very large reserves from the deep rear to the front (according to open sources-up to 300-400 tanks and no less than other armored vehicles). So far, we can say that the battle began successfully for our troops, but it is not just too early to judge the results, but it is impossible at all.
In short, Strelkov is uncharacteristically upbeat and optimistic, even—in rare form—praising the success of Russian troops thus far.
Last night a major Ukrainian airfield in Poltava was hit with a very large missile attack from Russia, including Iskanders. From Poltava administration:
It was actually a part of several large strikes that were said to have devastating effects:
Russian Air Force missiles "Iskander" and UAV-kamikaze "Geran-2" attacked the military NATO airfield "Mirgorod" tonight.
According to our data from the field, three Su-24 bombers converted by NATO specialists to launch the Scalp cruise missiles were destroyed and cannot be restored. The airfield equipment and the infrastructure of the air base were also destroyed.
Also, at least three British soldiers and more than 11 Zelensky soldiers were killed, and the rubble is being cleared. The wounded are taken to Kyiv.
As you can see, Ukraine’s ‘official report’ claims no casualties while the Russian side says 3 Su-24s, various equipment, 11 AFU soldiers and 3 British soldiers were all killed. Impossible to say who is right, but let’s be honest: do you believe a massive Iskander attack would have produced no casualties and only ‘minor damage’ as the Ukrainian report claims? Russia’s claims are modest by ballistic missile standards so we can only assume they are the more realistic.
Even more painful was a hit on a Ukrainian commander HQ meeting:
Important! Yesterday at 21.00 a meeting was held for the commanders of units of the 10th Special Guards Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the building of the Lyceum Rai-Aleksandrovka. At 21.15 we launched a missile attack, as a result of which 9 officers were killed and 7 officers were injured of varying severity.
Famed Russian correspondent Alexander Kots confirms the Leopards were recovered by Russian forces:
Russian State Duma put rumors to bed by announcing that there is no need for a new mobilization at the moment:
One of the likely reasons is that Shoigu had just announced that 117,000+ new volunteers had signed up to the armed forces this year and ~14,000 new ones just this month alone:
“In just ten days of the current month, 13,644 Russians 🇷🇺 signed up for contract Military service,” Deputy Defense Minister of Russia Nikolai Pankov said.
“This is 2.1 times more than in May this year and 3.1 times higher than in April.”
They also confirmed 117,400 people volunteered to join the Russian army ranks since January 2023.
And why that’s interesting is because Shoigu also announced a new decree that’s been making headlines, that all Russian volunteers and PMCs will now be forced to sign contracts with the Russian army proper.
This is a big move which streamlines the entirety of the Russian armed forces and consolidates them much more officially (and efficiently) under one command, and works to eliminate many of the hoary problems plaguing the RuAF and its inelastic bureaucratic holdover structures.
However, Prigozhin didn’t take kindly to this and launched into another harangue where he basically told Shoigu that Wagner will sign no such contracts, and will only take orders from the respected Suvorikin:
Thus, one line of thought is that Shoigu’s entire announcement was merely for the purpose of “reining in Wagner” and its unrestrained leader.
However, I should mention that beneath all this rigamarole Wagner appears to be cooperating with the Russian armed forces—which gives credence to rumors that this is all theater. For instance, a new set of videos were released showing Wagner’s top commander, Lotus, of whom I’ve written at length before, arriving with supplies for the Russian troops now holding Bakhmut, to whom Wagner handed the city over.
Yesterday, the commander of PMC "Wagner" Lotos talked to the soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces in Aremovsk, and today he brought what the guys asked for.
The servicemen were given scarce disposable grenade launchers, tank shells, batteries for thermal imagers, three SVD sniper rifles and sweets for tea.
The help doesn't end there. In the near future, employees of PMC "Wagner" will give lectures and share their experience with the military personnel of the RF Ministry of Defense.
Not only does he deliver trucks full of supplies to them from Wagner, but other videos showed he spent all day talking to the Russian commanders, transferring his experience and knowledge to them. In this linked video you can see Wagner/Russian troops are quite congenial with obvious camaraderie belying the claims of friction.
In other news, the DPR hacker collective which famously gave us many of the top hacks and leaks of the SMO thus far had this very intriguing message for the new AFU brigades taking part in the offensive. Skip to the end if you want to see just the good part:
DPR Joker: “I have bad news for the soldiers of the 47th and 82nd brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For those who are not in the know, I will share with you some data about these brigades: - 47 separate motorized brigade was formed in the middle of 2022.
The main tasks are assault operations and sabotage in the rear. Trained exclusively by US instructors. It was used as the main ram of the offensive on the Zaporozhye Front. In service with deliveries from NATO countries: 99 units. BMP "Bradley" (supplied by the USA), 28 units. tanks M-55s (supplied by Slovenia), 12 units. ACS M-109 (supplied by the UK), 12 units. guns D-30 (supplied by Estonia); - 82 DShBr formed in March 2023.
Trained exclusively by US instructors. The gang is considered a dark horse, but not for the Joker. I will not indicate the places of deployment, but I will say something about weapons. From deliveries from NATO countries: 90 units. Stryker armored personnel carrier (supplied by the USA), 14 units of Challenger-2 tanks (supplied by the UK), 24 units. ACS M-119 (supplied by the UK).
Covering the offensive from Russian aviation in Zaporozhye, the crews of the 301st anti-aircraft missile regiment (ZRP), which are armed with S-300PS, the calculations of 14 air defense missile systems with their S-300V1, the calculations of 225 air defense missile systems, which are armed with BUK-M1.
Additionally, the offensive of the 47th brigade was covered by the Osa mobile air defense systems in cooperation with the Avenger air defense system (USA) and the Stormer air defense system (Great Britain). But something went wrong. At the beginning of the offensive, all domestic air defenses were destroyed, and imported ones began to abruptly return to the rear.
Why am I writing this? Yesterday and today, the 47th and 82nd brigades received several adventurous orders, upon fulfillment of which, you will die ingloriously in favor of the clown Zelensky. I would advise you to ignore these orders in order to save your lives. Think about your families. Get lost, get lost somewhere. Or get cholera en masse. So you will be more likely to survive. Relatives of men from these brigades, also join. Don't let them go to certain death. I am writing all this because I care about my subscribers from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Who will put emoticons on me later and do the views. Thanks to Colonel Alexei Dubovik for the information. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...”
Next: a detailed and interesting report on the special Vikhr (Whirlwind) missiles of the Ka-52 and Mi-28 which have distinguished themselves as the heroes of the counter-offensive thus far, destroying tons of NATO’s best armor. Some of the new insights are much appreciated, such as what separates these missiles from any other ATGMs, like the fact that they go upwards of three times their speed:
Alligators decimated the Leopards: Judging by the increased frequency of video footage showing the action from the cockpit of Ka-52 "Alligator" combat-reconnaissance helicopters, we can say that this very helicopter and its missiles played an enviable role in crushing the Ukrainian offensive in the direction of Zaporozhye 🚀 9M127- 1 "Vihor-1".
▪️ Experienced crews on these helicopters, thanks to the excellent maneuverability of the aircraft, but also their skill, move extremely low so that the enemy cannot detect them. What a helicopter can do, unlike other aircraft, is to hover in a place where it uses rows of trees, construction and infrastructure facilities, hills to organize an ambush, from which, like a predator, it suddenly flies out and destroys the enemy thanks to its powerful optoelectronic devices.
📌 A special category are the 9M127-1 "Vihor-1" rockets, which according to the speed parameter are probably the fastest in the world. "Vihor" reaches a speed of 610 m/sec on its trajectory. (the American analogue of the AGM-114 Hellfire flies at a speed of 420 m/sec.) In order to graphically explain how fast this missile is, one should specify the speed of the "Malyutka" rocket (120 m/sec.) or the speed of the 9M111 rocket launched from the rocket of the "Fagot" system (200 m/sec.) and which are in the armament of the Serbian Army. See how long it takes. "Tiny" to reach its targets when launched from the GAMA helicopter. This sometimes takes an eternity, which gives the enemy a chance to take defensive measures and avoid being hit, while actually exposing the helicopter and its crew to enemy fire needlessly.
And a video as to how the automated defensive DIRCM (directional infrafred counter measures) system on the Ka-52 works:
The system of sensors can sense incoming missiles and disrupt or jam them automatically in a variety of multi-modal ways.
In Umar, Cherkassy, Ukraine, here’s how the commissars are now mobilizing new Leopard drivers who are understandably reluctant, likely having watched the spate of recent videos of the tanks’ performances:
And lastly, an interesting video reportedly came from one of the reservoirs now drying up due to the Kakhovka incident. Residents have found what appears to be the remnants of WW2 Wehrmacht soldiers at the bottom of the reservoir bed, complete with intact Stahlhelm:
The reason that interested me is because only a week or two ago, this photo was released by Russian soldiers who were digging trenches in Donbass and found the remains of Soviet soldiers from WW2, defenders of their land, along with the iconic PPSh-41 gun.
And to round out the point about the cyclical nature of history, in June of last year I had posted this video on my channel of Russian soldiers digging trenches on the Zaporozhye frontline who found a whole set of Soviet WW2 memorabilia:
"See the indentation? These are the trenches of the Great Patriotic War.”
On the front line in Zaporozhye, where our Cossacks are based, trenches from the Great Patriotic War were found.
“When we were digging our positions, we found some things: a rifle cartridge, a badge of a German soldier, a Russian grenade and a mine,” the military shows our correspondent Ilya Vasyunin
As the Cossacks say, during the Second World War, these trenches were first occupied by the Germans, and then they were knocked out of their positions by Russian troops.
"All repeats. We are fighting in the places where our grandfathers fought.”
And so it goes.
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