Let the purges start! Russian army leaders discover themselves sidelined

A Ukrainian gunner sits in his 2S1 Gvozdika (122mm self-propelled howitzer) on the front line in southern Ukraine on October 8, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF/AFP) (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

A Ukrainian machine gunner sits in his 2S1 Gvozdika on the entrance line in southern Ukraine. October 8, 2022.

Russian sources on Telegram report that the Russian Minister of Protection Each Sergei Shoigu and Military Chief of Employees Valery Gerasimov had been faraway from their posts. Based on the channel of the Wagner mercenary group, that is instantly linked to the explosion which closely broken the Kerch bridge connecting the Crimean oblast in Ukraine with Russia.

This will likely or might not be true. Nevertheless, the mere indisputable fact that Russia’s army management is publicly arguing over management and who’s accountable for failures in Ukraine reveals how nervous everybody in Moscow is that this weekend.

Though various substitute candidates have been mentioned, it’s unclear who’s accountable for the Russian army in the meanwhile if Shoigu is definitely out. Only a few hours in the past, Shoigu formally named the overall. Sergei Surovikin as the brand new general commander of Russian forces in Ukraine. It’s not recognized if this choice will maintain up towards the withdrawal of Shoigu. These reported actions observe different experiences of Moscow on Saturday as models of the RRussian Federation guards had been blocking visitors and finishing up “a number of arrests, detentions and blockades of servicemen”. Then others reported that it was not occurring. Then others mentioned it actually was.

Every thing is gloriously blurry. The fog of conflict on the battlefield is one factor, however it’s the fog of failure that’s spreading over all Russian army leaders and setting off a recreation of life or loss of life of musical chairs. What’s to not like?

This would appear to counsel that along with blowing on the bridge, the explosion – regardless of the trigger – is felt contained in the partitions of the Kremlin. Shoigu has lengthy been a detailed confidant of Vladimir Putin and held a number of roles in Putin’s regime. Though he’s three years youthful than Putin, experiences have indicated that Shoigu was to be “retired” this fall. The deck bombing appears to have sped up the schedule, and made it much less “this is your gold watch, have enjoyable on the yacht” and extra “come right here and take a very good have a look at this window”.

Whereas experiences proceed to explain this as an acceleration of already deliberate personnel modifications, and all of this will likely develop into propaganda (These are Russian sources speaking about Russian politics, the probabilities of somebody getting it flawed or lie appear near 100%). Nevertheless, assuming this to be true, it appears to symbolize a brand new stage of chaos for a military whose current mismobilizations have solely underscored the failures of the previous seven months.

Combating continues alongside Russia’s line of retreat, with potential progress close to Davydiv Brid

For the previous three days, combating in northern Kherson has largely been confined to an space alongside a line that was Russia’s retreat to their retreat. The northwestern finish of this line is strengthened by a sequence of cities that had been initially a part of the Russian second line and had been additional fortified after Ukraine established a bridgehead throughout the Inhulets River.

Over the previous two days, experiences of the presence of Ukrainian forces and ongoing lively combating have lined an space 10-20 km large, however most indications are that fierce combating remains to be happening alongside from the road from Bruskynske to Borozenske to Mylove. Russia has a whole lot of forces in Kherson, and proper now a whole lot of them are crammed into that space. There’s little or no cowl both aspect and virtually no topography to talk of.

Not solely is Ukraine on the lookout for its weaknesses, however Russia is doing the identical. Russian forces reportedly left Ishchenka in direction of Davydiv Brid on Friday, apparently to shock Ukraine as they tried to bypass the south. It does not appear to have labored.

On Saturday, it appears clear that Ukraine has prolonged its management south and opened up this house pocket to incorporate Shchaslyve. However there aren’t any present experiences of combating in Stepove or Kalynivske, so Ukraine might not be pushing in that route simply but.

As an alternative, Saturday introduced a number of experiences that Ukraine launched Bruskynske. This data was conveyed with nice confidence when it was first printed on Telegram. Nevertheless, it has been 12 hours since these first statements and there’s no affirmation from dependable sources. In its personal official bulletins right now, Russia claimed to have repelled all assaults on Ishchenka, Sadok and Bezymennoye, however didn’t point out Bruskynske. Which may very well be some form of disguised admission.

This metropolis may fall again into the yellow, however for now, it appears secure to guess that Ukraine is in management.

Shifting north, there was motion in a number of locations alongside the road, though all of it seems to be a lot the identical round Kreminna and alongside this path to Svatove.

Ukrainian forces shut in on Svatove

The change is instantly west of Svatove, the place it seems Ukrainian forces have liberated the cities of Lozove and Stelmakhivka. This map might be a bit conservative, as they in all probability launched Zelenyi Hai as effectively. This not solely represents one other place the place Ukraine is closing in on Svatove, however one other level the place they’ve pushed Russia fully throughout the road from Kharkiv Oblast to Lugansk. 20 km from Svakove, Stelmakhivka might be the closest level between the Ukrainian forces and the Russian transport hub.

One other concept on what brought about the bridge to fall. On this concept, ATACMS crossed the freeway bridge earlier than exploding.


I nonetheless assume the boat is a possible reply. As a result of whereas I do not assume the truck bomb matches the explosion, I feel it took a truck filled with explosives to do that.

Russia is releasing this video which supposedly reveals a check prepare setting off to make the journey, slowly, throughout the Kerch Bridge. Nevertheless, I nonetheless do not buy it. To this point, no footage from the scene has proven that Russia was in a position to take away the burning prepare. A few of this metallic might be nonetheless too sizzling to the touch. That Russia would enable a couple of creepy vehicles to cross the remaining wrinkled visitors lane? Sure. That they will one way or the other cross the railroad bridge at this level? No.