Saturday, September 3, 2022

The counter offensive has begun

 Since the end of the War for Kyiv, the Russians have concentrated on taking all of Lugansk and Donetsk Oblasts. They use WWI tactics, massive shelling, followed by frontal charges which are driven back with heavy losses by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). Once there is nothing left to defend the ARU pull back and the deadly game begins again. The Russians have also targeted civilians all over the country. Kharkiv had endured the most destruction since Mariupol as the AFU have been unable to drive the Russians back past the  25 km mark to be out of range of artillery. 

Improved air defense has destroyed some rockets and planes targeting civilian infrastructure and civilians. A number of "unfortunate accident" in Russian Belgorod have destroyed several locations from which rockets were launched against Kharkiv and scared the citizens who are abandoning the city. Last night 5 rockets were fired at Dnipro City and were all destroyed by air defense. 

With the arrival of HIMAR rockets systems the AFU have concentrated on destroying arms dumps, command HQ and concentrations of soldiers when known. Every Ukrainian with a cell phone is a potential observation post. A month or so ago, the AFU stated that they were about to start a counter offensive to retake Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. Russia immediately stated sending troops and equipment from Donbas to the southern front and moved about 25,000 troops and associated equipment to the west bank of the Dnipro River.

Once they were nicely settled in AFU began destroying the bridges using HIMARS so they could not resupply and are essentially trapped. And as the Russian army weakened itself in the east and northeast, Ukraine began probing counter offensives there, while continuing to defend against Russian attacks in Donbas. 

Day after day the threads read Russia attacks are driven back
and Russians shell these communities as marked

Unfortunate accidents also occurred in Russian occupied Crimea, destroying aircraft, ammunition dumps, command HQ. No smoking signs are now posted I hear. Also cars were backed up 100 miles of tourist and other Russians fleeing Crimea for the mainland.

The counter offensive has begun along the Zaporizhzhia front but mainly on the Kherson front. Russians respond by shelling civilian targets in surrounding communities such as Mykolaiv, Nikopol, and Krivii Rih. Artillery barrels must be changed periodically as they over heat. Ammunition expended cannot be replaced. Pontoon bridges are destroyed by HIMARS. Russians try to resupply using helicopters but dare not land more than two at a time on the Kherson airport or they will attract AFU rockets.

Little information is available from the Ukrainian side for obvious reasons but phone calls from Russian soldiers to their mother's or wives would indicate a fair bit if panic in some places. Reports are that the offensive is going better than hoped and the AFU is penetrating Russian lines in several places and blocking every attempt to resupply across the river. The maps below are a few days old so do not represent the current situation.

Blue indicates areas where AFU is pushing Russians
back towards Tokmok and Melitopol

The Kherson front showing destroyed bridges on the Dnipro River  

I am not a military expert, not even amateur so please feel free to add more information. Also on twitter follow Flash, War Monitor, The Kyiv Independent, Defense of Ukraine, Ukraine Weapons Tracker, Euromaidan Press, and Michael McFaul.


  1. Heartrending. So many deaths, so much destruction. And still it goes on. And on.

  2. \\AFU have been unable to drive the Russians back past the 25 km mark to be out of range of artillery.

    'Cause there is state border, you forgot to add.
    Why you so inaccurate? I dare to ask.
    Hardly your readers, who are mostly from USA, would know such trivia themself.
    You just don't know it yourself. But too prideful to ask for a help?

    \\Russia immediately stated sending troops and equipment from Donbas to the southern front and moved about 25,000 troops and associated equipment to the west bank of the Dnipro River.

    They _amassed_ it. Up to 25000. See the difference?
    There was troops already. They added more.
    Anyway. That is just an estimation. From the number of military units involved, I think.
    But that units struggle not being fully staffed too.
    Go guess...

    So, more accurate count is in battalion-tactical groups. BTGs.
    That is 500 to 1000 soldier units, with armored vehicles and artilery.
    Each one capable of sitting on like 10 km of front lines.
    And front lines there is around 200-250 km.
    And there is around 30 of em.
    So, as you can see. They not only have means to protect that lines. Roughly.
    But also have 10-15 BTGs to stub into "leakages".

    So. Military calculations is simple here. Just the moment this "to spare" BTGs. Reserves. Will be used up.
    Front line will collapse.

    Our side report killing around 500 each day.
    Means 1 BTGs minused.

    \\I am not a military expert, not even amateur so please feel free to add more information.

    Well. Here and now. Most important information is about Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant.
    Where ruSSians trying barbaricly to fool all of the world, with claims that Ukrainians trying to destroy it.


    Who still cough off smoke of Chernobil.

    Have no other ideas, no else job to do... as to destroy one of the pearls of our energy supply grid. With risk of polluting YET MORE of our territories with radioactive fallout.
    But, who can argue. After all that insanity RFia already commited, and keep piling it up. Attrocities and crimes.
    While claiming that that all is someone else's fault and doing...

    1. Everyone following the war knows that Kharkiv is close to the border with Russia. IF you care to look at a map of the Kharkiv war zone you will see that Russia is still in control of Ukrainian territory within the 25 km zone of Kharkiv. Maybe do your homework before you shoot your mouth off? AFU is now pushing Russia back more in that area but not yet to the border. also

    2. You are correct about the 25,000 troops as the cumulative total. My mistake. Thank you.
      AFU is really rolling in the Kherson area on the west/north west of Dnipro river but are now making progress in Donbas and Kharkiv fronts too. Today's updates.
      The ZNPP is a whole new blog post. and it is critical yes. But a little good news is always nice too.

    3. I deleted your last two comments as they added nothing and simply demonstrated that you are a thoroughly unpleasant person. You really should stop using dill pickles as suppositories

  3. Yes, like WW1, it seems to have turned into a war of attrition.

    1. Ukrainians have been grinding down the Russians since day one of the war but territorial movement has been very slow since the war focused on Donbas. It is truly a war of attrition as you say.

  4. ISW daily summary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Long read.

  5. I never thought of digital world and war.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  6. I can only imagine how awful it must be for the people whose lives are being ripped apart by this. The optimist in me hopes it will end soon, but it doesn't seem likely.

    1. It makes me cry. More than 113,000 dead civilians in Mariupol as Russia bulldozes and buries the apartments and theatres to cover the smell and the bodies of the uncounted dead. 600,000 children forcibly sent to Russia where their Ukrainian identity is destroyed so they cannot be recovered. Women and girls raped and murdered. There are no rules.

  7. Tundra Bunny here... all this devastation and loss of life for what, Putin's ego? Ukraine looks like Hitler's scorched earth policy all over again. Makes me wonder what sort of cyberwar battles are happening that we don't hear about. If the U.S. can remotely hack and control Iranian nuclear plants, why can't they stop Russia?

    1. Behind the scenes cyber warfare, I am sure is bitter and on going. The AFU has real time images of Russian troops and so forth which helps them target their artillery and rockets very accurately.

  8. My heart goes out to all Ukrainians and their families no matter where they are currently.

  9. this is just such a waste..fuck Putin...I'm just so glad you and family are safe.

    1. A waste of so many lives, so much talent gone, destroyed and for what?


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