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Ukraine 19: In HARMS Way


Werthead
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The Ukrainians have fairly consistently said their Russian casualty figures come from the Russians themselves, intercepts in the clear, etc, and over the course of the six months the Ukrainian figures have kept up closely with Russian leaks.

48,383 Russian deaths, not including DPR/LPR, is insane though. DPR/LPR must add at least 10,000 to that, if not far more.

The 3rd Army Corps has apparently arrived in Belgorod and is moving onto the front. It looks like they're going into the eastern Kharkiv Oblast and may head straight to Kupyansk to try to straighten the lines. Unclear if they have enough strength to actually counter-attack, but it's clear whatever plan they had for 3AC is now in complete tatters.

The Ukrainian forces around Slovyansk have advanced up the M03 and captured Dovhen'ke, putting them 12 miles from Izyum. The partisans and Ukrainian irregulars who have kept Izyum under attack for the past two months also seem to be stepping up their attacks. Forces on the other front have taken Vesele, on the M03/P78 crossroads, putting them 13 miles to the north. Izyum is being encircled.

Edited by Werthead
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Ukrainian recon forces are now east of Izyum, moving up from the south. This is happening much, much faster than anyone was expecting.

Ukraine has taken the Horokvoatka Bridge south of Kup'yansk and there's some indications that the local Russian forces said fuck this and legged it over the Oskil bridge in Kup'yasnk and blew it behind them.

Actually, Horokvoatka is closer to Izyum, and blocks one of the two retreat avenues the Russians have from Izyum. They'll have to funnel out south via Oskil town, which is a much smaller bridge (though also a shorter one).

There's also a report of a breakthrough in Kherson, with the Ukrainians taking both Bruskins'ke and Chkalove. That would cut off Davydiv Brid from resupply from Berysalv via the main road and puts Ukrainian forces less than 30km from the Dniprio. It looks like Arkhangelske and Davydiv Brid are both in danger of being cut off from behind, and that's where the bulk of Russian defences on the Kherson bridgehead are located. They need to pull them back ASAP or risk encirclement. A relatively short hop and the Ukrainians can cut them off from Nova Kakhovka and it's all over.

Edited by Werthead
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17 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Actually, Horokvoatka is closer to Izyum, and blocks one of the two retreat avenues the Russians have from Izyum. They'll have to funnel out south via Oskil town, which is a much smaller bridge (though also a shorter one).

According to some sources, Ukrainian troops have already been spotted around or in Oskil. 

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29 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Hmmm…

As I noted, it appears that the Russians did that to stop the Ukrainian advance at the Oskil.

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It is astonishing how quickly this offensive is moving given how slowly the war was going for the past several months.  Indications are that the Ukrainians are closing on Oskil (town) from both the north and the south (they may have already captured it, who knows).  If that's the case, then Izyum and any Russian troops left behind on over a hundred km of front are trapped.  No doubt some of them have fled, but there's no way that all of them did.  Perhaps they can break through to the south east and ford the Oskil river somewhere.  But regardless, there has got to be a LOT of equipment, ammo and intelligence abandoned in that pocket. 

I worry that the Ukrainians are overextended, but there aren't any signs that the Russians are forming/mounting a counterattack.  The Russian air force is mostly vanished.  Russia might need any available forces like the 3AC just to reestablish a new defensive line along the Oskil.  If that's the case, then Ukraine has recaptured a huge amount of land (hundreds of square miles) in less than a week.

And the Kherson offensive is still grinding.  Between the two, Russia could lose a huge portion (20%?  more?) of its army this month. 

Edited by Maithanet
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I'd take this with a pinch of salt for now, but a report that a Russian reinforcement convoy has been caught between Izyum and Oskil, which the Ukrainians have entered in the past hour. The convoy surrendered, allegedly 3,000 Russians taken prisoner.

I'd wait for that to be confirmed before believing it. However, reports of Ukrainian forces in Oskil and Kapitolivka just to the NW appear somewhat more credible.

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12 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I'd take this with a pinch of salt for now, but a report that a Russian reinforcement convoy has been caught between Izyum and Oskil, which the Ukrainians have entered in the past hour. The convoy surrendered, allegedly 3,000 Russians taken prisoner.

I'd wait for that to be confirmed before believing it. However, reports of Ukrainian forces in Oskil and Kapitolivka just to the NW appear somewhat more credible.

If Izyum is surrounded do the Russians have the capacity to endure a seige?

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Just now, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

If Izyum is surrounded do the Russians have the capacity to endure a seige?

Food and ammo for a few weeks? Probably, it is a major operational center.

Morale and organization is a different story, especially if one commanding general was captured and another fled.

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Considering some of the things that were said to me, I've decided to post Chomsky's thoughts on Ukraine (which I almost 100% share) here on a regular basis. We'll start with basic stuff:

What then can we do to facilitate ending the tragedy? Let’s begin with virtual truism. The war can end in one of two ways: Either there will be a diplomatic settlement, or one side will capitulate. The horror will go on unless it ends with a diplomatic settlement or capitulation.

That at least should be beyond discussion.

A diplomatic settlement differs from capitulation in one crucial respect: Each side accepts it as tolerable. That’s true by definition, so it is beyond discussion.

Proceeding, a diplomatic settlement must offer Putin some kind of escape hatch — what is now disdainfully called an “off-ramp” or “appeasement” by those who prefer to prolong the war.

That much is understood even by the most dedicated Russia-haters, at least those who can entertain some thought in their minds beyond punishing the reviled enemy. One prominent example is the distinguished foreign policy scholar Graham Allison of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, who also has long direct experience in military affairs. Five years ago, he instructed us that it was then clear that Russia as a whole is a “demonic” society and “deserves to be strangled.” Today he adds that few can doubt that Putin is a “demon,” radically unlike any U.S. leader, who at worst only make mistakes, in his view.

Yet even Allison argues that we must contain our righteous anger and bring the war to a quick end by diplomatic means. The reason is that if the mad demon “is forced to choose between losing and escalating the level of violence and destruction, then, if he’s a rational actor, he’s going to choose the latter” — and we may all be dead, not just Ukrainians.

Putin is a rational actor, Allison argues. And if he is not, all discussion is useless because he can destroy Ukraine and maybe even blow up the world at any moment — an eventuality we cannot prevent by any means that won’t destroy us all.

Proceeding with truism, to oppose or even act to delay a diplomatic settlement is to call for prolonging the war with its grim consequences for Ukraine and beyond. This stand constitutes a ghastly experiment: Let’s see whether Putin will slink away quietly in total defeat, or whether he will prolong the war with all its horrors, or even use the weapons that he indisputably has to devastate Ukraine and to set the stage for terminal war.

All of this seems obvious enough. Or it should, but not in the current climate of hysteria, where such near truisms elicit a great flood of utterly irrational reactions: The monster Putin won’t agree, it’s appeasement, what about Munich, we have to establish our own red lines and keep to them whatever the monster says, etc.

There is no need to dignify such outpourings with a response. They all amount to saying: Let’s not try, and instead undertake the ghastly experiment.

 

On 9/7/2022 at 7:40 PM, Werthead said:

Sorry that the money you bet on a Russian victory and how many dead Ukrainian children that would been bought with will now be lost.

I'm sure your "moral bravery" from the comfort of your armchair is going to end in far less dead Ukrainian children.
Have a nice week-end.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

It is astonishing how quickly this offensive is moving given how slowly the war was going for the past several months...

Maithanet -- it shoudn't be, we all knew this was coming. UKR has spent these first six months struggling to achieve a correlation of forces (with much assistance from Uncle Joe and allies); first slowing, then holding, and finally pushing against the other side of it. This is when l'audace must occur, which the UKRs seem to have exploited fairly well in recent days. Vladimir knows -- has known -- this, and yet has no real options other than defeat or a (very unlikely) RUS general mobilization.

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16 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

That much is understood even by the most dedicated Russia-haters, at least those who can entertain some thought in their minds beyond punishing the reviled enemy. One prominent example is the distinguished foreign policy scholar Graham Allison of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, who also has long direct experience in military affairs. Five years ago, he instructed us that it was then clear that Russia as a whole is a “demonic” society and “deserves to be strangled.” Today he adds that few can doubt that Putin is a “demon,” radically unlike any U.S. leader, who at worst only make mistakes, in his view.

Yet even Allison argues that we must contain our righteous anger and bring the war to a quick end by diplomatic means. The reason is that if the mad demon “is forced to choose between losing and escalating the level of violence and destruction, then, if he’s a rational actor, he’s going to choose the latter” — and we may all be dead, not just Ukrainians.

Putin is a rational actor, Allison argues. And if he is not, all discussion is useless because he can destroy Ukraine and maybe even blow up the world at any moment — an eventuality we cannot prevent by any means that won’t destroy us all.

 

I reject all of this logic as being self-destructive and tautological. By this logic, no one should ever try and stop Putin from doing anything that he wants - either he is a rational actor and will always escalate to more violence, or he is not a rational actor and will do whatever he wants anyway. Neither are accurate representations of facts nor do they remotely take into account any free will or desire of Ukrainian people or anyone else being attacked; they only seek to cowardly avoid a potential disaster to someone not involved in the conflict. 

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8 minutes ago, Arakasi said:

I think an off ramp to the 2014 borders  has always been on the table. Ukraine takes back what they lost here in this war and they certify the transfer of Crimeria. I’m sure if Russia wanted that the war would be over now. As for the rest blah blah blah.

Arakasi -- agreed; that's the best option, but it'll hinge on UKR's kindness (really, its self-interest).

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