Poor Vlad Putin. Regardless of its pretend “annexation” of 4 Ukrainian oblasts, none underneath full Russian management, Ukraine’s army advances have continued unabated. If Russia beforehand appeared incompetent and overwhelmed, now the message is even clearer: Putin can not defend Mom Russia. And if historical past tells us something, it’s that defending the nation is a very powerful process of a Russian chief.
And Putin fails. I think that we are going to see dramatic penalties of this failure.
General, Ukraine recorded large positive aspects in September:
In different phrases, Ukraine took over 10% of the land occupied by Russia in a single month. And October began with a bang, with Ukraine eliminating the Russian presence in northern Donetsk Oblast (the world round Lyman), shifting into Luhansk Oblast east of Lyman and now releasing a whole bunch of sq. kilometers within the north of Kherson.
You’ll be able to observe our weekend drama protection if you want, right here, right here, right here, right hereand right here. Let’s take a fast have a look at the place issues stand now.
IN FRONT OF KHERSON
Mark Sumner was sort sufficient to replace his map regardless of having Mondays off.
Cities within the Blue Zone both have geotagged images confirming their launch, or there’s a consensus between Russian and Ukrainian Telegram sources. The yellow zone is the brand new entrance line as Ukraine sinks down this entire broad entrance. The best penetration is on the financial institution of the Dnipro river as much as Dudchany, the place combating continued in a single day.
It isn’t simply roses; The Russian telegram had images and video of a Ukrainian column crushed by artillery exterior Davydiv Brid within the decrease left nook of this map. Ukraine will need to pinch these two yellow drops. This might lure the Russian defenders in that nook of the entrance or drive them to desert their ready defensive positions and retreat nearer to town of Kherson, abandoning additional Russian contributions underneath Lend-Lease for the Ukrainian military. Ukraine will undoubtedly proceed to advance on Davydiv Brid till its Russian defenders run out of steam, ammo, or the need to battle. Collapsing defensive traces don’t lend themselves to a powerful combating spirit.
By taking a fast and soiled measure, Ukraine liberated about 800 sq. kilometers (about 310 sq. miles) of territory on this entrance in about two days. And it isn’t Kharkiv, the place Ukraine made Russia look elsewhere, permitting it to interrupt by weakly defended traces. That is precisely the place Russia has deployed all of its defenses, as much as 40,000 troops, in well-prepared defensive positions on flat, open floor the place an artillery wall can impede any advance. The truth that Ukraine is lastly shifting ahead is an indication that Russian provide traces have certainly been degraded by way of HIMARS and long-range precision-guided artillery. With out functioning bridges, Ukrainian analysts have estimated that Russia can solely provide a couple of quarter of what it wants by way of barges, helicopters and by cautious journey over damaged bridges. And even that may be precarious work:
IN FRONT OF DONETSK-LUHANSK
Mark’s up to date map:
Lyman is within the backside left of this map. There’s much more blue on this map than there was a couple of days in the past.
Russian forces retreated chaotically to new traces. As I famous yesterday, there are ugly pictures of the aftermath because the retreating Russians had been hit by artillery as they left Lyman. Do not search for the photographs, I will not even describe them. I actually had nightmares about them on Saturday night time. And please do not put up or describe intimately what you noticed within the feedback. There isn’t any want. Suffice it to say, Russian casualties had been excessive, and I am unable to think about a extra undignified course to observe.
the largest New the information on this map is the discharge of Borova within the prime left of the map. The town had a bridge that linked it to the Izyum facet of the Oskil River. In some unspecified time in the future this will likely be fastened. Right here is the present scenario:
There are reviews that your entire railway line from Kupyansk to Lyman (reduce on the very backside of this map) is now in Ukrainian arms, however nothing is confirmed but. If not now, will probably be true within the subsequent 12-24 hours. There isn’t any motive for the Russians to occupy positions alongside the Oskil financial institution now that Borova has been liberated and Ukrainian troops are working within the east.
Contemplating the significance of railway tracks, the clearance of the street from Kupyansk to Lyman is gigantic. The railway line to Svatove is equally engaging, as is the mass of roads that every one converge in direction of the city. That is the logistics hub for all this mass of territory underneath Russian management. The Kupyansk rail line has already been reduce, however they might nonetheless be capable of transport items from the south by Kreminna (but another excuse town is critically essential to Russia).
As soon as Ukraine liberates Svatove, Russia should surrender every little thing inside a radius of 25-40 kilometers (about 15-30 miles). Starobilsk on the best fringe of the map above and the best circle under is the ultimate prize, supplying your entire northeast nook of Ukraine. As soon as Ukraine liberates this, all of northern Luhansk is straight away liberated.
Sorry for the outdated map, however I am making an attempt to get it as quickly as doable. You’ll be able to see the logistical significance of Svatove and Starobilsk: each host a significant railway line and function hubs for his or her area’s street networks, radiating like spokes on a wheel.
Starobilsk has an added significance: as soon as Ukraine liberates it, Russia will now not be capable of present its battle effort by way of Belgorod to the north of this map. You’ll have to redirect every little thing to energy their battle machine from the east by way of Luhansk Oblast and by transporting items by way of the Sea of Azov port cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk. It isn’t an inconceivable process, however it is going to require a large effort to redirect all of those provide traces whereas making the remaining traces extra weak to Ukrainian sabotage and interdiction.
Taking these two cities and the ensuing Russian retreat would return to Ukraine about 13,000 sq. kilometers (5,000 sq mi) extra of its land, most of which is sparsely populated agricultural steppe. That may be about 12-15% of the land presently occupied by Russia, which can look nice on maps. Nonetheless, once more, the actual worth right here is slicing off all provide routes from Belgorod.
FRONT OF BAKHMUT
I ought to name it the “Luhansk entrance”, however in actuality all of the motion takes place in Bakhmut.
It is simply pathetic, although a have a look at this map may present Why Russia stays obsessive about it:
Once more, have a look at the prepare tracks. If Russia had been in a position to conquer the road from Horlivka to Bakhmut to Siversk, it could have a stable logistical base on which to press deeper into Ukrainian-controlled Donbass. So there’s a logic to need to to occupy Bakhmut.
The issue, in fact, is that Russia shouldn’t be even near occupying any a part of this line. And given the collapse of Russian traces in Kherson and the Tri-Oblast area, this chimerical dream appears much more expensive than regular.
In fact, we’ve already seen why Russia persists: this a part of the entrance is occupied by Wagnerian mercenaries utilizing jail fodder to probe and advance. Wagner was requested to bolster different components of the entrance they usually publicly and haughtily refused on their Telegram channel, saying they had been the one Russian drive able to advancing anyplace within the nation. In the meantime, Wagner’s CEO not directly criticized Putin (with the Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov) in current days. He has his personal program, which may actually be a conception of the Russian management, and he’ll do his personal factor.
Proper now, it is apparently butting heads with Bakhmut, not for army causes, however for his personal home machinations.