Thursday, September 15, 2022

Catching up on the War in Ukraine

 

This took all day to put together. Hard to know what is accurate or just rumor. Sources are different and so information varies. MSM is useless. They are farther behind than Twitter and insist on the both sides equivalent BS. This is as current and accurate as I can make it but by the time I post it, something will have changed. I have tried to include maps where possible but some are in Ukrainian. Google maps works well though spellings may differ.

Russia is losing on the battlefield but has turned to tactics to make Europe cold and Ukraine dark. Shutting off gas completely and bombing any and all electrical plants in Ukraine. They are using cruise missiles launched from the black sea or from bombers over the Caspian Sea as well as shorter range rockets and barrel artillery when within range. Yesterday Eight (six?) Russian cruise missiles fired from a Tu-95 bomber hit a hydroelectric facility in Krivii Rih, leaving the city without water and causing the Inhulets River to overflow. It has risen 5 meters since the dam was breached. https://twitter.com/i/status/1570109515651227648 The city has been partially evacuated. 

Russia continues to send cruise missiles into Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro city, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, Rivna and other cities to destroy infrastructure and kill or injure civilians. Tanya said that a couple days ago there were missiles going over head all night, all day and the next night. Air defense shot one down so close that our house shook. Cats and dog not impressed.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in the world, has been under Russian control since the first days of the war. Russians have been shelling Nikopol across the Dnipro river and the community of Enerhodar, where workers at the plant live, from the ZNPP. They have also been shelling the plant with mortars, knocking out the power lines around the plant and blaming the Ukrainians.

All 6 reactors are now completely shut down. Three external power sources have been reconnected to supply electricity to the cooling pumps. ZNPP is NOT another Chernobyl waiting to happen. Totally different technology and well-fortified against bombs or Missiles. Should an accident happen, the amount of radiation escaping would increase cancer risks over the years but not the kind of deadly levels that Chernobyl created.

Ukraine says nothing changed after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the ZNPP. IAEA left two people behind to monitor the situation. However IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said very recently that talks are underway to establish a protection zone around the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. At the same time, Ukrainian Intelligence said that Russia was planning more shelling of the NPP. Danger Zone: How Russia is risking nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (info-res.org)

Map showing percentages of Oblasts occupied by the Russians

Russian routs have made Russia the largest supplier of war munitions and equipment to AFU next the USA. Ukraine now has ample shells for its 152 mm Warsaw pact howitzers and 400 workable tanks. Surrendering Russian soldiers are poorly dressed, poorly equipped and poorly fed. Ukraine will treat them under Geneva convention rules and that should encourage more to surrender. Russians are even using 60-year-old T64 tanks, they are so short of equipment. (Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces are using a few Maxim machine guns from WWI. Once in place they still work well and are effective).

In liberated territory, locals are quick to identify collaborators to the police. The SBU continue to root out spies acting on behalf of Russia. In occupied areas partisans look after collaborators their own way. AFU is mopping up isolated pockets of Russian soldiers in liberated areas. And about 4% to 6% of Kharkiv oblast is still not under Ukrainian control, almost all of it east of the Oksil River. Russian military have stiffened their resolve and Ukrainians are still fighting to push towards Lysychansk and Serevodonetsk.

As communities are liberated by the AFU, forensic investigators move in, to document war crimes. These communities have been under Russian control for as long as 6 months, compared to those near Kyiv where they are still uncovering victims. So far findings have been just as horrific including a torture chamber in Balaklia where a prisoner had written the Lord’s Prayer on a wall.

On the Donetsk front, Russians continue to attack Bakhmut and continue to be driven back. Ukrainian forces repelled enemy attacks  in the areas of Spirne, Soledar, Mayorsk, Zaitseve, Odradivka, Vesela Dolyna, Vodyane and Novomykhayilivka settlements. They seem like atomatons, not thinking at all. Shades of the Winter War. They have been instructed by Putin to take Donetsk and cannot change tactics until the order is rescinded by Putin. In the mean time Ukrainian forces have recaptured the airport on the outskirts of Donetsk city as it is quite close to the front line.

Russians are reporting that Ukraine is concentrating troops and equipment on the Zaporizhzhia front between Donetsk city and the Dnipro river. There are reports of Russians stealing cars and trailers to transport loot from Melitopol into Crimea. They are likely moving their families to safety, anticipating AFU counter offensives. Russian forces are also reported to be moving towards Crimea. Melitopol is a major Russian base in southern Ukraine and an obvious target for Ukraine to split the occupied territory in half.  This would allow Ukraine to regain control of ZNPP as well. Russian troops would be isolated there and forced to surrender. 

Map showing the Zaporizhzhia front and the concentrations of Russian troops

The Kherson offensive will be slow as there is little or no cover and no real reason to hurry. AFU is content with throwing back Russian attacks and letting the Russian military trapped on the west side of the Dnipro wear themselves out and run down their supplies of ammunition and food. Russians build or repair bridges, ferries, pontoons, and Ukraine knocks them down. The Russians have moved the front line back closer to the Dnipro river so they can be covered by artillery from the east bank. According to major general Dmytro Marchenko (mastermind of Mykolaiv defense in first month of war) in last 2 weeks RU lost in Kherson region ~1.8K troops, 120 MBTs, 130 tube artillery pieces, 20 MLRS, 2 helicopters, 2 planes. There are rumours that some of the troops are negotiating to surrender. 

When opportunity arises, the AFU slowly move forward and may have retaken Kiselyvka, which is 25 km away from Kherson City. The bridge and river crossing are now within reach of Ukrainian artillery. If true, only one settlement, Chornobaivka, remains to be liberated to reach Kherson City.

Recent activity on the Kherson front

There is a 30-40% chance that the Russian army will collapse by Christmas and the war in Ukraine will come to an end - Edward Stringer, Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Kremlin is working to shift blame for the fiasco onto the shoulders of military advisors to clear Putin of any responsibility. Ukrainian Intelligence reports that Russia is no longer sending reinforcements to the front as troops are refusing to go. Hardliners are demanding that Russia formally declare war and mobilize accordingly. It would take months to train troops and equipment is almost non-existent. And middle class Russians would be on the streets protesting if their boys were forced to fight.

BBC reports a failed assassination attempt on Putin. Rumours of coups and assassinations are the replacement for the Putin is dying of cancer etc. circulated earlier. We can always hope BUT a hardliner is most likely to replace him.

Ukrainian peace proposals have changed dramatically since the beginning of the war

Zelensky has been busy visiting the front compared to Putin who sits at his long desk


I wish someone would do this with a Kossak and a Bear

18 comments:

  1. Thank you for this comprehensive report - which cannot have been easy to put together.
    I hope that the war is over by Christmas but won't hold my breath. And when ever it ends nothing will bring back the dead.

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    1. The dead, the wounded, the PTSD. Ukraine will be generations to fully recover

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    2. Well... we was in state of recover... from old times. As you know yourself from our history...

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  2. This time you did pretty good job. As much as you'd like to accuse me in being "troll", this my assessment should mean something. ;-)

    Well, still, there is minor problematic things. Like.

    "Russia continues to send cruise missiles into Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro city, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, Rivna and other cities to destroy infrastructure and kill or injure civilians."

    That is *not* cruise missles they use there. They plainly do not have that much. But ordinary frontline rocket artillery. And tactical missiles.

    That is important to point out -- as with some MORE help from USA, we could free our cities from such hazards for good.


    "(Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces are using a few Maxim machine guns from WWI. Once in place they still work well and are effective)."

    There was few of them in Russia in times of WW1. And they was heavily used in Civil War and after. So, strongly doubt that there exist such a rarety.
    That is WW1 *design* Maxim guns. But produced like in 1940th.


    "They have been instructed by Putin to take Donetsk "

    They ARE in Donetsk. So, I presume you mean Donbass Region here.


    "In the mean time Ukrainian forces have recaptured the airport on the outskirts of Donetsk city as it is quite close to the front line."

    That one looks like dis-information. As there is no military reasons to do that.


    PS If that is my criticism made you this, more leveled and pro-ukrainian -- I'm glad.
    If that is what you did while working on yourself -- I glad even more.

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    1. Useful information from you this time. Thank you. Yes, I meant Donetsk Oblast, and yes, more than cruise missiles, including hypersonic, ordinary missiles, barrel artillery what ever will reach. Two cruise missiles struck a town just west of our home yesterday. Tanya said she could hear the sound. That is getting very close to home. Why there I don't know. haven't talked to her yet today...Just talked to her, she said it has a water reservoir that they are trying to destroy.
      The clip showing the Maxim machine gun said it was over100 years old.
      The Donetsk airport has huge symbolism and may have been unprotected. If it can be taken and held at no cost, it may have been. Source seemed reliable in other things.
      Long range missiles would have saved a great many Ukrainians. And I hope that America will send ATACMS quickly. Republicans are calling for them now.

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    2. \\Useful information from you this time. Thank you.

      Oh... I use it too rarely. That formula of courtesy to respond to that.
      That I totally forgot how.
      Is it "My pleasure" or something? :-)


      \\cruise missiles, including hypersonic

      Cruise missles. And hypersonic.
      That is quite different stuff.

      Cruise... means it like a small airplane. Going near surface. For a long distance. Also, there is Ballistic. Which goes like a cannon projectile -- up-up into heavens, and then falling down.

      That is easy to remember.
      Cruise missle that is nazis "wonder weapon" V-1
      And all other are descendants of V-2.

      On the contrary "Hypersonic"... that is propaganda waporware.
      As there is NO hypersonic weapon, or even not possible physically(?). Their "hypersonic" is just regular ballistic... which, technically, can fall at Mach 3-4-5, yes. As there is not a big problem to drop heavy thing that fast. :-)))


      \\The clip showing the Maxim machine gun said it was over100 years old.

      Technically it's feasible.
      There still are examplar in museums. And in the amateur stashes.
      It made of metal, so it's not impossible for it to still work.
      But.
      They was heavily used in their time. Was damaged and trashed. So, actual thing could be too weared off by today.

      On the contrary. Machine guns that was produced in USSR by the same blueprints. Was numerous. And produced till the end of WW2 or even further. So there is nothing impossible for it to stay in perfect condition in USSR-time war preparations zones.


      \\The Donetsk airport has huge symbolism and may have been unprotected. If it can be taken and held at no cost, it may have been. Source seemed reliable in other things.

      If you know recent history... there is nothing but rubbles. Nowhere to hide, nothing to protect. So, yeah, great symbolism... for ruSSians.
      But that is not symbolism we are fighting for.
      They are. For their lame symbolism.

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    3. \\Long range missiles would have saved a great many Ukrainians. And I hope that America will send ATACMS quickly. Republicans are calling for them now.

      Well. F-16 and A10, and maybe some chopers (like Vietnam-time Cobras) would be WAY MORE sweet and deceasive.
      IMHO.

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    4. They are referred to as hypersonic so I use that term. Donetsk Airport is rubble but the cyborgs who held it are legendary. The airport was within 300 metrers of the front. Unconfirmed reports were that the AFU took the airport Sept 10th. Most recent post said it was under attack by AFU with fierce fighting around Pisky.
      Yes, F16 and A10 would be a great help. Are Cobras still flying?

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    5. \\They are referred to as hypersonic so I use that term.

      Using terms of a foe -- that can be a help to spread his propaganda.
      Is it hard to grasp?
      For at least place it in "". Is it hard to do that?
      And well, there is only one exemplar (well, two, maybe) which they call as genuinely hypersonic -- Kinjal (dagger). And there too few of em.
      And also anti-ship missles Onyx, they also call like that. If I recall it correctly.

      Well, that is all very similar to Nazi's Wonder Weapon buzz.
      Was.
      That they have in big numbers (as PanzerFausts) are not that wonderous.
      And that is relatively closer to be WW... quite few they have.

      And we know what happen to them, isn't it?


      \\Donetsk Airport is rubble but the cyborgs who held it are legendary.

      Yeah. The same as Mariupol's AzovSteel plant. Today.
      I hope you'll understand my attitude here -- it's better to have as few of such "legends" as possible. Better not at all.
      Let our enemies have more of em.


      \\ The airport was within 300 metrers of the front. Unconfirmed reports were that the AFU took the airport Sept 10th. Most recent post said it was under attack by AFU with fierce fighting around Pisky.

      That is local fight.
      And with modern weapon and means of transportation that could mean spans of tenth of km.


      \\Yes, F16 and A10 would be a great help. Are Cobras still flying?

      To that last question.
      Well, that could make it simpler for USA to hand us down some weapon they have no use anymore.
      And I think we'd be quite capable to make use of it, even half-dismounted.
      And there'd be big number of it.
      Not like mere dozens West keep "helping" us with.
      And... just imagine reaction of ruskie in their trenches. :-)))
      If there'd be no place to hide. From that vingance from the skyes.

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  3. Tundra Bunny here... looks like the the Russians ARE finally having their asses handed to them on silver platters by the AFU! However, I cringe at the thought of the atrocities yet to be encountered in the wake of the retreating Russian forces. Putin and his ilk are like cockroaches: kill one and a hundred come to his funeral. I sure hope Tanya & Lucky can travel safely back to Canada soon!

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    1. They are beginning to uncover teh atrocities in Izyum and other places liberated by AFU. The pictures are horrific. I cannot imagine the people working there.

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  4. Thank you Allen. I hope this war will end soon and that your wife and animals are safe!

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    1. They are safe though the sirens and missiles keep sleep to a minimum. None hit closer than 25 km so far.

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  5. Your first photo is fitting.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  6. so my friend....how do you think this is going to end?

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    1. It will end with Ukraine driving all Russian forces back across the border and freeing every square inch of Ukraine. Whether it will destroy Russia bad enough to prevent them from trying again in a few years will depend on Biden's policy towards Russia.

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    2. Let it be!

      Delete

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