Russia and Ukraine Current Events

Mendel

Senior Member.
The actual document with the well-known Baker quote is the one just after the one that I linked too above in #325.
Yes, I notice you were quoting from the same GWU archive there. I only brought it up again because someone reacted to that old post, and I'd heard of the archive in the meantime, so it seemed like an easy thing to debunk once and for all.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Ukrainian government confirmed that the last remaining civilians trapped in the Azovstal plant evacuated on May 7, though an unknown number of Ukrainian defenders remain in the facility.[9] The DNR and Russian media falsely claimed that some Ukrainian defenders surrendered to Russian forces under white flags, but Ukrainian units inside the plant denied the claim and stated both sides raised white flags to mark the evacuation route for civilians.[10] The remaining Ukrainian units in Azovstal appear unlikely to surrender, and Russian forces continued assaults on the facility.[11] We will likely be unable to report any discrete changes in control of terrain until Russian forces capture the plant as a whole due to the poor information environment in Mariupol and lack of direct imagery or video of fighting inside the facility.

Ukrainian forces are making significant progress and will likely advance to the Russian border in the coming days, though some reports of advances 40km north of Kharkiv appear overstated. The Russian Ministry of Defense abnormally acknowledged that Ukrainian forces recaptured Tsyrkuny (as Russian military sources rarely acknowledge any setbacks), but falsely claimed that Ukrainian forces used civilians as human shields to advance to the outskirts of Borshchva—possibly in an attempt to justify Russian setbacks.

Russian forces continued to target Odesa with cruise missile strikes and conduct false-flag attacks in Transnistria over the past several days. Ukraine’s Operational Command South reported that Russian aircraft launched four cruise missiles at Odesa Oblast on May 7 and two missiles late on May 6 to exert “psychological pressure” on civilians.[23] Ukrainian sources reported that Russian special services continued to conduct false-flag attacks at key sites in Transnistria in an attempt to frame Ukrainian forces, and Ukraine‘s Operational Command South stated the Moldovan-Ukrainian border is well protected by Ukrainian counter-sabotage groups.[24] Transnistrian sources falsely claimed that Ukrainian drones dropped four explosives on an airfield in Varancau, on the border of Transnistria and Ukraine, the night of May 6-7.[25]

ISW haven't mapped any territory changes in this update.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
In the 10 weeks since the Russian invasion, a third of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes. This is the largest human displacement crisis in the world today. As of today, more than 5.7 million refugees have fled Ukraine. A further 7.7 million people have been displaced internally within Ukraine. Some 13 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave due to heightened security risks, destruction of bridges and roads, as well as lack of resources or information on where to find safety and accommodation.

Many people who are trapped are unable to meet their basic needs including food, water and medicines. The delivery of life-saving aid remains challenging, with a lack of safe humanitarian access. UNHCR and partners continue striving to reach hard-hit areas with life-saving assistance as part of inter-agency humanitarian convoys.

UNHCR continues to call for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, respect for international humanitarian law, and for neighbouring countries to continue keeping their borders open to those fleeing.

Situation Update

• On 3 May, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine announced the successful evacuation of 101 civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in a safe passage operation coordinated by the UN and ICRC that began on April 29. An additional 58 people had joined the convoy in Manhush town on the outskirts of Mariupol, and 127 people in total proceeded to Zaporizhzhia. UNHCR has a team on the ground to help receive the refugees and provide basic relief items and support.

• Another UN–ICRC safe passage operation was completed on 4 May, with over 300 civilians evacuated from Mariupol, Manhush, Berdiansk, Tokmak and Vasylivk to Zaporizhzhia

• As of 3 May, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 6,546 civilian casualties in the country: 3,193 killed and 3,353 injured. OHCHR notes that the actual figures are likely considerably higher.

• Reports from Mariupol continue to underscore the dire conditions, with no centralized water supply leading to people relying on open reservoirs and ponds. Phone connection remains extremely limited. Local authorities report that up to 100,000 people still remain trapped within the city.

• Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, UN and partners have cumulatively reached at least 4.1 million people with humanitarian assistance as of 28 April.

• In Chernivtsi city, a UNHCR partner visited a psychiatric clinic accommodating 82 patients evacuated from Popasna, a city in Luhansk oblast in eastern Ukraine, and is working with the institution to restore identity documents and resolve issues with social payments.

• UNHCR and partner Rokada will provide protection services and psychosocial support to some 450 IDP children from orphanages in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Zhytomyr oblasts who are currently staying in Khmelnytskyi Oblast.

SmartSelect_20220508-084954_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Russia’s Admiral Makarov warship has been hit by Ukrainian missiles and burst into flames, according to Ukrainian officials.
Here's an overview of the available information, and a debunk of a fuzzy likely fake video:
Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6sW-j3pJcfM

Another day, another possible triumph for the UAF. Since the morning of the 6th of May, 2022, rumors have been circulating regarding the strike on the Admiral Grigorovich class frigate Admiral Makarov in the western Black Sea, off the now infamous Snake Island. Accompanied by the blurriest of footage, showing the supposed ship on fire, adrift. In this video we will endeavor to validate the allegations, and search out any possible independent corroborating evidence, using OSINT techniques.
Content from External Source
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
Here's an overview of the available information, and a debunk of a fuzzy likely fake video:
Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6sW-j3pJcfM

Another day, another possible triumph for the UAF. Since the morning of the 6th of May, 2022, rumors have been circulating regarding the strike on the Admiral Grigorovich class frigate Admiral Makarov in the western Black Sea, off the now infamous Snake Island. Accompanied by the blurriest of footage, showing the supposed ship on fire, adrift. In this video we will endeavor to validate the allegations, and search out any possible independent corroborating evidence, using OSINT techniques.
Content from External Source



I suspect a very good fake only let down by the radar frame shape & size


US mil intel probably know what going on and assisted attack as Global hawk drone was aloft over location at th3e time

https://www.radarbox.com/data/registration/10-2045

An aviation tracker website showed a US Air Force Global Hawk long-range reconnaissance drone over the location at 0500 Friday morning.

global hawk.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I suspect a very good fake only let down by the radar frame shape & size
the youtube video argues that the drone is closer than it needs to be and that the picture quality is worse than other drone video. we've seen that artificial degradation of quality enough in UFO fakery to not get suspicious at it.

I think the recon drone went there after the reported hit, and that the US hasn't confirmed means they didn't see much. So at best, the Makarov was hit and recovered. It's also possible that the official who first spread the news mistook a report of a hit on a different ship:
Article:
The UNIAN news agency citing the government social media website Dumska said the vessel was a “Burevestnik” class frigate, at midday located near Zmiyiniy [Snake] Island, offshore from the Danube delta. The usually-reliable Gruz200 military news web platform said a naval source confirmed that a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile struck the vessel.

The Dumska statement likewise said a Ukrainian Neptune missile hit the ship, and that “large numbers” of Russian aircraft were circling overhead.

A maritime ship tracker showed a Russian rescue ship identified as SPK-46150 en route to the location following a late Thursday night dispatch. An aviation tracker website showed a US Air Force Global Hawk long-range reconnaissance drone over the location at 0500 Friday morning.

It's "Project 1135 Burevestnik" vs. "Project 11356R/М Grigorovich", a similar but not identical class of frigate.

There have also been reports of the Makarov's sister ship, the Essen, having sustained damage a month ago, and they're just as hard to verify.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There was a lot of speculation in past weeks on what Russia was planning to do on Victory Day (end of WW2), most of which did not come true. (Takeaway: specific claims about the future without strong evidence tend to be bunk, cf. date of invasion early in this thread.)
Article:
Russian President Vladimir Putin used his May 9 speech to praise ongoing Russian efforts in Ukraine and reinforce existing Kremlin framing rather than announce a change. He did not announce an escalation or declare victory in the Russian war in Ukraine.[1] May 9, Victory Day, is Russia’s most important patriotic holiday and commemorates the Soviet victory in the Second World War, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. Putin’s much-anticipated speech was a ready-made opportunity for him to alter the Kremlin’s current framing of the war in Ukraine or announce a policy change. Putin had three general options for his Victory Day address: declare some sort of Russian victory, make a policy change to ramp up the war effort in some way (such as by calling for a larger-scale mobilization or formally declaring war on Ukraine), or what he chose—to pursue a steady state narrative and reinforce the Kremlin’s existing framing (and resourcing) of the war.

Many Western officials and analysts speculated that Putin would formally declare war on Ukraine to enable a larger-scale mobilization.[2] Instead, the Kremlin’s framing of Victory Day celebrations reiterated existing Kremlin justifications for the war and drew on purported historical parallels between the Second World War and the Kremlin‘s framing of its invasion of Ukraine. Putin reinforced each of the Kremlin’s core (and patently false) narratives attempting to justify its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine: that Ukraine is a Nazi state; that the United States and NATO refused to acknowledge Russia‘s security concerns and provoked the war; and that the Ukrainian government was preparing an imminent attack and genocide against Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. He did not introduce any new justifications for the conflict, nor did he ask for a greater commitment from the Russian military or population.

Putin bizarrely framed Nazi Germany and modern-day Ukraine as equal Nazi threats to Russia’s security. He relied heavily on present-tense language as he congratulated servicemembers who fought in World War 2 and who “these days … are fighting for our people in Donbas. For the security of our Motherland—Russia.” Putin celebrated the participation of “fighters of different nationalities” and “the great, indestructible strength of our united multinational people,” recognizing the Russian proxy fighters from the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and implicitly recognizing fighters from other Russian proxy separatist regions like South Ossetia.

One of the claims turning out to be bunk is the "Kherson People's Republic". From ISW reports:
The Russian occupiers are planning to hold a pseudo-referendum on the territories of Kherson region temporarily occupied by them to proclaim the so-called KhNR [Kherson National Republic], deputy of Kherson Regional Council Serhiy Khlan said.
Ukrainian military sources reported on April 21 Russian forces are preparing to conduct a “referendum” to create a “Kherson People’s Republic” on April 27
Russian occupation forces continued preparations to announce the creation of a “Kherson People’s Republic” (KNR) amid widespread Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on April 27 that Russian forces are printing ballots and conducting a census for a “referendum” and preventing civilians from leaving the occupied territories.
These claims date back to March. However, ISW now reports a new plan:
Article:
Russian authorities are likely setting conditions to integrate occupied Ukrainian territories directly into Russia, as opposed to creating proxy “People’s Republics.” The Kherson occupation Deputy Chairman of Military Civil Administration Kirill Stremousov stated on May 9 that the Kherson region intends to become part of Russia and that Kherson authorities do not intend to hold a referendum to create an independent republic.[9]

"Setting conditions" is ISW parlance for "if they're doing what we think they're doing, this would be part of it", but it's kind of like me getting out of bed in the morning is "setting conditions" for me to go shopping: it may or may not actually happen, but phrasing it like this sure makes it sound as if it's going to (without actually committing me to anything). It's newspeak, passing speculation off as evidence of intent.

Likewise, speculation was that Russia planned to fully occupy Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts by Victory Day; it looks like Russia failed, but absent any evidence for these plans, that's really more a collapse of the speculations.

Article:
Russian forces made marginal gains around Severodonetsk in the past 24 hours.

Kharkiv Battle Map Draft May 9,2022_0.png
The fact that Russia can still advance indicates to me that this war isn't going to be over anytime soon, unless an unexpected military or political upheaval occurs. I also believe that as long as the West keeps supporting Ukraine (as it should) and Ukraine is not outright losing, Ukraine will not concede to a "frozen conflict" status along any demarkation line on Ukranian land, seeing as the 2014 situation led to this war (possibly excepting the Krimean)—this can't end in a draw.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense escalated its false claims of US and NATO preparations to attack Belarus while announcing the start of a second stage of ongoing military exercises on May 10. However, Belarus remains unlikely to join the war in Ukraine. Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin announced the second stage of ongoing rapid response forces exercises on May 10 in response to what he falsely claimed were NATO escalations.[3] Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Defense Victor Gulevich accused the US and its allies of building up a military presence around Belarusian borders and claimed that Poland and the Baltic states are threatening Belarusian territory through reconnaissance, sabotage, and special operations.[4] Gulevich announced that Belarusian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) will subsequently advance to the Western and Northwestern operational zones as part of a ”whole range of measures aimed at countering possible threats” in these areas.[5] Gulevich additionally stated that the presence of 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Belarus’ Southern Operational District have necessitated a deployment of unspecified Belarusian troops to three tactical directions near the Ukrainian border, which is consistent with Ukrainian General Staff reporting that certain Belarusian units have deployed to the Ukraine-Belarus border area for a combat readiness check.[6]

The rhetoric of threats to Belarus’ borders is not new and was frequently employed by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the early stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[7] The Belarusian exercises, which are concentrated on Belarus’ borders with Poland and the Baltic States rather than Ukraine, are likely primarily demonstrative and signal Belarus’ continued political support for Russia‘s war in Ukraine. The exercises are likely additionally intended to draw NATO attention and possibly disrupt NATO aid to Ukraine, rather than threatening an actual military operation—similar to Russian efforts to destabilize Moldova that are likely intended to distract Romania and NATO rather than directly threaten Odesa. Belarus remains unlikely to join the war in Ukraine. Lukashenko successfully repressed domestic opposition in 2020 and 2021 but remains vulnerable to further domestic unrest if his security apparatus weakens; he is likely unwilling to risk losing his military in a stalled and deteriorating Russian war in Ukraine.


this war isn't going to be over anytime soon
More evidence:
Article:
Pro-Russian reporter Aleksandr Sladkov, who is operating around Donetsk City, complained that Russian forces are fighting Ukrainians at a 1:1 assault force ratio and have not been able to push Ukrainian forces from their positions in Donetsk.[14]

That said, the Donetsk frontline has been entrenched for 8 years, and may be the worst possible place for an assault anyway.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces may be abandoning efforts at a wide encirclement of Ukrainian troops along the Izyum-Slovyansk-Debaltseve line in favor of shallower encirclements of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Russian forces likely control almost all of Rubizhne as of May 12 and have likely seized the town of Voevodivka, north of Severdonetsk.[1] They will likely launch a ground offensive on or around Severodonetsk in the coming days. The relative success of Russian operations in this area combined with their failure to advance from Izyum and the notable decline in the energy of that attempted advance suggest that they may be giving up on the Izyum axis. Reports that Russian forces in Popasna are advancing north, toward Severodonetsk-Lysychansk, rather than east toward the Slovyansk-Debaltseve highway, support this hypothesis.

It is unclear if Russian forces can encircle, let alone capture, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk even if they focus their efforts on that much-reduced objective. Russian offensives have bogged down every time they hit a built-up area throughout this war, and these areas are unlikely to be different. Continued and expanding reports of demoralization and refusals to fight among Russian units suggest that the effective combat power of Russian troops in the east continues to be low and may drop further. If the Russians abandon efforts to advance from Izyum, moreover, Ukrainian forces would be able to concentrate their efforts on defending Severodonetsk-Lysychansk or, in the worst case, breaking a Russian encirclement before those settlements fall.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive around Kharkiv is also forcing the Russian command to make hard choices, as it was likely intended to do. The UK Ministry of Defense reports that Russian forces pulled back from Kharkiv have been sent toward Rubizhne and Severodonetsk but at the cost of ceding ground in Kharkiv from which the Russians had been shelling the city.[2] The counteroffensive is also forcing Russian units still near the city to focus their bombardment on the attacking Ukrainian troops rather than continuing their attacks on the city itself. The Ukrainian counteroffensive near Kharkiv is starting to look very similar to the counteroffensive that ultimately drove Russian troops away from Kyiv and out of western Ukraine entirely, although it is too soon to tell if the Russians will make a similar decision here.

Luhansk Battle Map Draft May 12,2022.png

Russian forces likely seized Rubizhne and made marginal advances to Voevodivka, a suburb of Severodonetsk. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai said that Ukrainian forces partially control Rubizhne, but Ukrainian servicemen claimed that Ukrainian forces only have access to the T1302 highway exit on the settlement’s western outskirts.[8] The Luhansk People’s Republic and Chechen units entered the Zorya Chemical Plant between Rubizhne and Voevodivka on May 11. Fighting was ongoing at the plant as of May 12.[9] Ukrainian forces destroyed a second Russian pontoon bridge in the vicinity of Bilohorivka, approximately 13 km from Rubizhne, on May 11 to slow the Russian encirclement of the settlement from the northwestern direction.[10] Severodonetsk Regional State Administration Head Oleksandr Stryuk confirmed that Russian forces seized Voevodivka on May 12, contradicting the Ukrainian General Staff’s assertion that the Russian offensive was unsuccessful.[11] Russian forces will likely launch a ground offensive on Severodonetsk in the coming days once they fully secure Voevodivka.

Russian authorities additionally continued occupation activity in Mariupol. Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko stated that Russian forces have established filtration checkpoints throughout the entire city to further consolidate control.[17] Andryushchenko noted that occupation authorities may hold a referendum for Mariupol to join Russia as soon as May 15.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense stated that the Russian grouping on Snake Island is trying to improve its position on the island in an effort to block Ukrainian maritime communications and capabilities in the northwestern Black Sea, particularly toward Odesa.[24] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces have built up their air defense system in Western Crimea in a likely attempt to provide air cover for naval activities in the northwestern Black Sea.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces made significant tactical mistakes during the attempted large-scale crossing of the Siverskyi Donets River from Kreminna. The Russian command reportedly sent 550 servicemen of the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army to cross the Siverskyi Donets River in order to encircle Ukrainian forces near Rubizhne from the northwest.[3] Ukrainian artillery destroyed the Russian pontoon bridges and tightly-concentrated Russian troops and equipment around them on May 11, which reportedly resulted in 485 casualties and damages to over 80 pieces of equipment.[4] The 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade had previously attempted a river crossing (over the Desna River in Chernihiv Oblast on March 8) without suffering such setbacks.[5] The unit’s command and staff may have failed to recognize the dangers that Ukraine’s improving artillery capabilities posed two months later, or may simply have been incompetent or unable to control their troops.

Prominent pro-Russian Telegram channels (with approximately 300 thousand followers) largely criticized Russian General Staff for failing to learn from previous combat mistakes and expressed concern that censorship and self-censorship was depriving them of situational awareness.[6] Other pro-Russian Telegram channels noted the slow pace of Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast, blaming it in part on ineffective aerial reconnaissance and the negative effects of bad morale within the Russian military.[7] Some Telegram channels reported receiving criticism for “misrepresenting” the performance of the Russian military.[8] The Russian Defense Ministry posted a video that it claimed showed that Russian forces in turn destroyed Ukrainian pontoon crossings on May 14, although we have no independent confirmation of these claims.[9]

Russian forces conducted ground, air, and artillery assaults on the Azovstal Steel Plant on May 14.[15] Ukraine’s Azov regiment said that Russian forces used heavy artillery, tanks, and infantry to launch an assault on Azovstal but that Ukrainian forces continued to hold defensive positions at the plant and its outskirts.[16] A Donetsk Oblast Police Representative reported that there are over 600 wounded Ukrainian servicemen surviving in unsanitary conditions at the Azovstal.[17] Ukrainian officials are attempting to negotiate the evacuation of 60 medical professionals and heavily wounded servicemen as of May 14.[18]

Article:
Russian private military companies are reportedly forming combined units with airborne elements due to significant losses in manpower.[5] Denaturing elite airborne units with mercenaries is shocking, and would be the clearest indication yet that Russia has exhausted its available combat-ready manpower reserves. The Russian 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade is reportedly receiving personnel from other Black Sea Fleet units, including navy ship crewmembers.[6] Newly formed or regrouped units are unlikely to be effective in combat.

Ukrainian aviation continues to operate over Russian-controlled settlements near Izyum.

Russian forces conducted artillery, air, and naval strikes on the remaining Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal Steel Plant on May 15.[23] Ukrainian officials said that Russian forces fired incendiary munitions with thermite layers at Azovstal on May 14.[24] Families of the Mariupol defenders said that Ukrainian servicemen barely leave shelter at Azovstal and then only to procure food and water.[25]

Mariupol Mayor Advisor Petro Andryushenko reported that a column of over 500 vehicles evacuated from Mariupol to Zaporizhia City on May 15.[26] Andryushenko added that Russian forces did not fix access to water or electricity for Mariupol residents and focused on strengthening occupation authority in the city.[27]

Russian forces continued to fortify their positions in southern Ukraine and did not conduct active offensive operations on May 15. The Zaporizhia Military Administration reported that Russian forces dug trenches in southern Melitopol along the Molochna River and in villages 30 km south of the city.[31] ISW previously reported that Russian forces reportedly also created trenches 35 km east of the Kherson Oblast border.[32] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces are also creating reinforced concrete structures in Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblasts.[33] Russian trenches and concrete shelters are indicators that Russian forces seek to establish and defend permanent control over the occupied areas. Russian forces are also attempting to restart operations at an auto parts plant in Zaporizhia Oblast in an effort to start military production in the region.[34]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian and Ukrainian officials negotiated the evacuation of 264 wounded Mariupol defenders from Azovstal Steel Plant to occupied Donetsk Oblast on May 16.[17] Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that Russian forces evacuated 53 seriously wounded servicemen to Novoazovsk approximately 60 kilometers and 211 to occupied Olenivka south of Donetsk City.[18] Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have opened a humanitarian corridor for wounded Ukrainian defenders to receive treatment in occupied Donetsk Oblast on May 16.

Russian forces are trying to reopen the Port of Mariupol to establish shipping routes from Russia. The Donetsk People’s Republic claimed that proxy militia will demine the port by May 25.[21] Russian forces have raised a sunken Ukrainian ship from the sea floor in the port on May 15.[22] Andryushenko said another sunken Ukrainian ship and mines are preventing Russian forces from reopening the port.[23]

The Ukrainian nuclear power company Energoatom reported that Russian forces dug trenches and established concrete barricades along the entire perimeter of the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar City.

Russian forces launched another missile strike on Odesa Oblast, likely in effort to completely destroy the damaged bridge over Dniester estuary.[34] Russian forces will likely continue to target Ukrainian transport infrastructure connecting Odesa Oblast with Romania to disrupt one route by which Western countries can provide aid to Ukraine.

I'm not really clear why they're calling the Azovstal news an "evacuation" when it looks like a (partial?) surrender—perhaps because it concerned injured and therefore non-belligerent people?

ISW is repeating that some "milbloggers" are "skeptical of Russian efforts and increasingly in-line with Western assessments of Russian military failures in Ukraine". Another example of a possibly changing propaganda in Russia is this TV broadcast:
Source: https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/1526329765065539592
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
...
I'm not really clear why they're calling the Azovstal news an "evacuation" when it looks like a (partial?) surrender—perhaps because it concerned injured and therefore non-belligerent people?

It is a surrender but I see them calling it an evacuation as ok too because they're obviously not going anyplace other than where the Russians want them to go.

It doesn't sound like it will be a good time in store for them as they'll likely be interrogated and perhaps forced to confess. I wouldn't be surprised if some are executed. :(


ISW is repeating that some "milbloggers" are "skeptical of Russian efforts and increasingly in-line with Western assessments of Russian military failures in Ukraine". Another example of a possibly changing propaganda in Russia is this TV broadcast:
Source: https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/1526329765065539592

That was an interesting article when I first came across it. Perhaps Putin and his cronies finally figured out that enough of the population is still able to get the real facts of what is happening and continued cover ups are only going to make him look more like a fool than he already has been made to look by this debacle.

Note, if this is a new direction this might be a good sign of things because you will get a lot further in negotiations or peace settlements if both sides have more similar facts they can share. Good luck to all.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces continued to conduct air and artillery strikes against the remaining Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal Steel Plant on May 18.[19] The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that 694 Ukrainian servicemen surrendered to Russian forces between May 17 to 18 and claimed that nearly 1,000 had surrendered in all since evacuations began.[20]

Pushilin stated that the DNR intends to rebuild Mariupol to be a “resort city,” while admitting that 60% of the structures in Mariupol have been destroyed to the point where they cannot be rebuilt.[3
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian sources may be overstating the number of Ukrainian defenders who have been evacuated from the Azovstal Steel Plant as of May 20. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that nearly 2,000 Ukrainian fighters have left Azovstal since evacuations began, whereas the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that it has registered only “hundreds” of Ukrainian prisoners of war.[xv] The discrepancy could result merely from delays in ICRC registrations or reporting. Official Russian sources may also be obfuscating the true number of evacuees for various reasons, however.

ISW reports unconfirmed Russian claims of an advance near Popasna.

Comparison:
Kharkiv Battle Map Draft May 05,2022.pngKharkiv Battle Map Draft May 20,2022.png
Luhansk Battle Map Draft May 6,2022.pngLuhansk Battle Map Draft May 20,2022.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The "Battle of Mariupol" is over, the "Battle of Severodonetsk" is the new headline. ISW made a new map for this.
Article:
Russian forces made gains in the Rubizhne-Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area and intensified efforts to capture Severodonetsk on May 21. Russian troops blew up a bridge across the Severskyi Donetsk River between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, setting conditions to sever Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and take Severodonetsk.[4] Pro-Russian milbloggers wrote about the beginning of the Battle of Severodonetsk on May 20 and claimed that Russian forces are closing in on the area from the north, east, and south.[5] The milbloggers emphasized the importance of disrupting Ukrainian GLOCs between Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, which are facilitated by at least two major bridges across the Severskyi Donetsk River. Russian forces’ destruction of at least one of the two bridges between the two towns will likely hinder Ukrainian GLOCs to Severodonetsk and indicate a Russian effort to encircle the city.[6] Russian forces reportedly conducted attacks against several towns around Popasna, which may allow them to push northward toward Severodonetsk.[7] Russian claims about their gains around Popasna remain unconfirmed by open sources as of the time of this publication.[8]
Severodonetsk Battle Map Draft May 21,2022.png

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed full control of Mariupol as the last group of Ukrainian fighters surrendered and left the Azovstal Steel Plant on May 21.[11] The announcement of the conclusion of hostilities in Mariupol comes a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed victory in the Battle of Mariupol on April 21.[12] Russian forces reportedly began demining the territory of the plant and restoring the Port of Mariupol.[13]

Russian occupation forces are likely intensifying “filtration” processes to consolidate control of Mariupol. Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova stated that up to 4,000 men from Mariupol are now in filtration camps outside of the city, and Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko claimed that Chechen Rosgvardia troops are taking over control of filtration points as DNR forces redeploy to other areas.[14] The information space in Mariupol will likely become increasingly restricted in the coming weeks as Russian forces shift their attention from the capture of Azovstal to consolidating occupational control over the city.

Ukrainian authorities are reportedly strengthening border security between Ukraine and Transnistria.[23] The local Ukrainian border guard detachment announced new restrictions prohibiting the civilian use of drones, night vision equipment, and navigation of small boats in the area. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces are protecting the border and conducting counter-sabotage measures.[24]


The ISW reports went several days without "setting conditions", but it's back. Compare these quotes:

• "Russian troops blew up a bridge across the Severskyi Donetsk River between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, setting conditions to sever Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and take Severodonetsk."

• "Russian forces’ destruction of at least one of the two bridges between the two towns will likely hinder Ukrainian GLOCs to Severodonetsk and indicate a Russian effort to encircle the city."

The second wording is clearer, though I don't understand why they don't simply say that the Russian forces have destroyed a bridge across the Severskyi Donetsk River with mortar fire, severing one of the last remaining supply lines to Severodonetsk in their attempt to cut off the city from the rest of Ukraine.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Senior Kremlin officials are increasingly openly admitting that the Russian offensive in Ukraine is moving slower than anticipated and are grasping for explanations to justify the slow pace. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian operations in Ukraine are progressing slowly because Russian forces want to afford civilians the opportunity to evacuate, though Russian forces have targeted Ukrainian civilians throughout the war and repeatedly denied Ukrainian attempts to negotiate humanitarian evacuation corridors.[4] Shoigu’s statement is notably his first admission that Russian forces are behind schedule and is the first official statement on the pace of the war since Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that the operation was “dragging” on May 4.[5] Russian milbloggers are criticizing Shoigu’s claimed consideration for civilians and claimed that Soviet troops would not have cared if “Nazi” civilians evacuated, part of the growing Russian nationalist reaction that the Kremlin is not doing enough to win the war in Ukraine.[6] Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin stated that the ultimate goal of the Russian offensive is to ensure “Nazism” is “100% eradicated, or it will rear its head in a few years, and in an even uglier form.”[7] Naryshkin and Shoigu’s statements indicate that Russian officials are likely setting conditions for a protracted war in Ukraine in order to justify slower and more measured advances than initially anticipated.

Severodonetsk Battle Map Draft May 24,2022.png
Russian forces have likely abandoned efforts to complete a single large encirclement of Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and are instead attempting to secure smaller encirclements—enabling them to make incremental measured gains. Russian forces are likely attempting to achieve several simultaneous encirclements of small pockets of Ukrainian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts: the broader Severodonetsk area (including Rubizhne and Lysychansk), Bakhmut-Lysychansk, around Zolote (just northeast of Popasna), and around Ukrainian fortifications in Avdiivka. Russian forces have begun steadily advancing efforts in these different encirclements daily but have not achieved any major “breakthroughs” or made major progress towards their stated objectives of securing the Donetsk Oblast borders or seizing all of Donbas. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai reported that Ukrainian forces only controlled approximately 10 percent of Luhansk Oblast as of May 15 (compared to 30 percent prior to the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022).[1] Russian forces have secured more terrain in the past week than efforts earlier in May. However, they have done so by reducing the scope of their objectives—largely abandoning operations around Izyum and concentrating on key frontline towns: Russian performance remains poor.

Russian forces will additionally likely face protracted urban combat if they successfully encircle Severodonetsk (as well as in other large towns like Bakhmut)

The UK Defense Ministry noted that Russian advances towards Severodonetsk from Rubizhne and advances from the southwest remain separated by approximately 25 km, and Russian forces may be able to encircle Severodonetsk in the coming days.[17] Russian forces will likely struggle to capture the city itself, however, and Russian assaults on major urban terrain have been unable to quickly take ground throughout the war.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The last ISW report shows an overview map with the heavy fighting entirely limited to the Donbass (note the circles). It looks to me like the Russians are now successfully focusing their offensive effort, while holding ground everywhere else.
Article:
DraftUkraineCoTMay26,2022.png

Russian forces have made steady, incremental gains in heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine in the past several days, though Ukrainian defenses remain effective overall. Deputy Ukrainian Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that the fighting is currently at its "maximum intensity” compared to previous Russian assaults and will likely continue to escalate.[1] Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Oleksandr Motuzyanyk characterized Russian gains as “temporary success” and stated that Ukrainian forces are using a maneuver defense to put pressure on Russian advances in key areas.[2] Russian forces have now taken control of over 95% of Luhansk Oblast and will likely continue efforts to complete the capture of Severodonetsk in the coming days.[3]

Russian forces continued efforts to encircle Severodonetsk on May 26. Russian forces reportedly attempted to take control of Ustynivka, about 15 km southeast of Severodonetsk.[7] Russian sources additionally reported that Russian troops are approaching Severodonetsk from Vojevodivka and Schedryshcheve (northeast of Severodonetsk) and that the northeast portion of the city is under Russian control.[8] A Russian military reporter claimed that as many as 10,000 people may be trapped in the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk cauldron.[9] Ukrainian troops have reportedly fortified their positions in the Zolote-Orikhiv area, where Russian troops have encircled them.[10]

Severodonetsk Battle Map Draft May 26,2022.png

Such offensive actions indicate that Russian troops hope to continue their advance toward the borders of Donetsk Oblast and merge with operations around Lyman, which Russian forces fully captured on May 26.[6]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The limited Ukrainian counterattack in northern [b\Kherson Oblast[/b] did not take any further ground in the last 48 hours but has disrupted Russian operations. Russian forces launched several unsuccessful attacks against the Ukrainian bridgehead on the east bank of the Inhulets River.

Russian forces continued ground assaults in and around Severodonetsk on May 30.[10] Russian forces reportedly control the northeast and southeast outskirts of the city and are continuing to gain ground within the city.

It's my observation that some amateur commentators tend to overstate the effect of the Ukrainian counterattacks, as if they're about to re-take Kherson and push the Russian forces back from Kharkiv.

What actually happens is the Ukraine can defend well, as it has done for 8 years in the Donbass, but if Russia concentrates its forces, it can slowly push the front forward, while Ukraine seems to need a bit of luck to advance.

According to ISW predictions, the tide of war is going to turn any day now: "When the Battle of Severodonetsk ends, regardless of which side holds the city, the Russian offensive at the operational and strategic levels will likely have culminated" (May 28), "potentially force Russia to deploy reinforcements to the Kherson region, which is predominantly held by sub-standard units" (May 29), "ISW previously assessed that continued demoralization and poor command and control among Russian forces could present Ukrainian forces opportunities" (May 30).

However, ever since the Russiany withdrew from Kiev, which was mostly due to Russia not achieving its objectives and leaving its supply lines exposed as a result, the only Ukrainian gains you can find on the big map are pushing Russia away from Mykolaiv and Kharkiv, with some parts of Kharkiv still in range of the Russian artillery.

For Ukraine to conduct a successful offense, it would probably need air support, but while they seem to mount an effective air defense, Ukraine's air force can't overwhelm Russia's—this would look very different if the US entered the war, which would likely establish Western air superiority immediately, which is why Ukraine has asked for it ("no-fly-zone") early on.

I expect for Russia to continue taking Severodonesk, followed by an operational pause, and possibly another round of failed peace negotiations. Depending on political support in Russia (and possibly Putin's health), Russia's then going to either try to re-"freeze" the conflict (effectively annexing what it has gained), or keep pushing.

If Russia keeps pushing, a lot is going to depend on geostrategy: if Russia's war in Ukraine is shaping up to be a multi-year effort, somebody somewhere else might see an opportunity, but I couldn't predict who or where.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
P.S.:
Article:
Zaporizhia Oblast Administration Head Oleksandr Starukh reported that Russian forces have accumulated a large number of old T-62 tanks in Melitopol since withdrawing them from storage on May 25.[24] Starukh noted that Russian forces will commit the tanks to stationary firing points in Zaporizhia Oblast, rather than committing the obsolescent tanks to combat in the oblast.

Given the success of shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapons, and the relative ease for rebels to acquire them, the old tanks are effectively useless for offense. Russia can either scrap them, or use them for defense: they're essentially a big gun in metal bomb shelter that's hard to hit once it's dug in and the engine cooled off. So that's how they're using them.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
P.S.:
Article:
Zaporizhia Oblast Administration Head Oleksandr Starukh reported that Russian forces have accumulated a large number of old T-62 tanks in Melitopol since withdrawing them from storage on May 25.[24] Starukh noted that Russian forces will commit the tanks to stationary firing points in Zaporizhia Oblast, rather than committing the obsolescent tanks to combat in the oblast.

Given the success of shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapons, and the relative ease for rebels to acquire them, the old tanks are effectively useless for offense. Russia can either scrap them, or use them for defense: they're essentially a big gun in metal bomb shelter that's hard to hit once it's dug in and the engine cooled off. So that's how they're using them.

Do you know how much of a tank the fire-and-forget anti-tank weapons need to be shown in order to lock on to it as a target? As most of them aim for the turret, I'd expect that not much of the body needs to be visible at all. A lot of the information is probably under NDA, alas.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Do you know how much of a tank the fire-and-forget anti-tank weapons need to be shown in order to lock on to it as a target? As most of them aim for the turret, I'd expect that not much of the body needs to be visible at all. A lot of the information is probably under NDA, alas.
Article:
Its fire-and-forget design uses automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch

Infrared's difficult for a parked tank that's cooled down.

NLAW uses visual targeting and a magnetic fuse, so if the operator can see the tank position, all they need to do is approach to 800m (half a mile) to get the shot off. This is easy when tanks are rolling towards you (tank offense), but hard when you need to get to the tanks (tank defense), hence my point that this threat is not as bad when you use the tank for defense.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces continued ground assaults in and around Severodonetsk on May 31.[14] Russian forces, including Chechen units, now control up to 70% of the city and continue to make gains within the city center.[15]

The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that the Russian-appointed mayor of Melitopol Halyna Danylenko resigned due to partisan activity in the city.[34] The Ukrainian Resistance Center added that Ukrainian entrepreneurs stopped the operation of the Kupyansk Dairy Cannery in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast and are refusing to use Russian banks and currency.[35]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian counteroffensives in northwestern Kherson Oblast likely pushed Russian forces back to their established defensive positions on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River on June 2. Geolocated drone footage confirms Ukrainian forces conducted a counteroffensive near Starosillya, a settlement on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River and just 12 kilometers south of the northernmost area of Russian control.[23] Kherson Oblast Military Administration Head Hannadiy Lahuta reported that Ukrainian forces liberated 20 unnamed villages in Kherson Oblast, likely referring to the settlements on the western bank of the Inhulets River.[24] ISW cannot independently confirm these territorial changes at this time, but Ukrainian defenders have likely secured the western Ihululets riverbank.

Comparison (move slider):
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
Comparison:
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map Draft May 28,2022.pngKherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map Draft June 2,2022.png

ISTR some time in the past when I had JS enabled, I noticed some ability to somehow overlay images on top of each other so that they could be compared like flip-book pages. I don't see that feature any more - was I hallucinating? I'm wondering if these time comparisons might benefit from that, if it exists.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
done, see above

Alas, it doesn't degrade gracefully when I have JS off, which is 99% of the time. It looks like the maps aren't always 100% linedup anyway, so it's not necessarily a great win. Thanks for trying it out though. I'll have a peek at the HTML, and if I can see a change that lets it degrade gracefully, I'll mention it on the other 2.0 thread.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Alas, it doesn't degrade gracefully when I have JS off, which is 99% of the time. It looks like the maps aren't always 100% linedup anyway, so it's not necessarily a great win.
well, if you prefer the table style after all...

the maps I compared above line up well for me, and if they didn't I could probably resize them. But I don't think the slider supports a 3-way comparison?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian forces report that Russian electronic warfare (EW) units are increasingly threatening Ukrainian air reconnaissance in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces are increasingly jamming all possible signals and hindering Ukrainian drone operations.[6] The Ukrainian General Staff has previously reported that Russian forces intensified EW operations in Donbas, likely in an effort to obstruct Ukrainian aerial reconnaissance and drone strikes on Russian units.[7]

Russian occupation authorities began distributing Russian passports in occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts on June 3. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian occupation forces opened passport offices in Kherson City and Melitpol and a plan to open more centers throughout Zaporizhia Oblast.

The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian occupation authorities are forced to bring “Russian specialists” to Zaporizhia Oblast because Ukrainians overwhelmingly refuse to cooperate with Russian forces. The Ukrainian Resistance Center added that these ”Russian specialists” will undergo regular rotations from their jobs in Russia to occupied territories.[37]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This is from a Ukrainian source; the data might be biased accordingly. (heavily excerpted)
Article:
100 days of full-scale Russian invasion in numbers

According to the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine has sustained over $600 billion in damage from the invasion, including $105 billion in infrastructure damage. The country’s economy has contracted by 35%; over 200 factories have been destroyed.

Here are some figures that outline the scope of Ukrainian losses in the war:
  • Over 44 million meters squared of housing;
  • 6300 kilometers of railways;
  • 41 railway bridges;
  • 634 healthcare facilities;
  • 1123 education facilities;
  • 621 kindergartens;
  • 19 oil depots;
  • 19 malls.

2,603 Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages remain under occupation.

According to Zelensky, Russia holds almost 125,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory, or 20% of the country.
Twice as much of Ukrainian land – 300,000 square kilometers – has been rendered dangerous by landmines and unexploded ordnance.

As of June 2, Ukrainian General Staff figures suggest Russia has lost 56% of the warplanes it committed to the invasion of Ukraine (210 out of 375), and 73% of the helicopters (175 out of 240).
Other Russian military equipment losses are as follows:
  • Tanks – 1,363 (80% of the initial invasion force of 1,700);
  • IFVs & IMVs – 3,354 (78% of the initial invasion force of 4,300);
  • Artillery systems – 661 (28% of the initial invasion force of 2,300);
  • [...]

1.4 million Ukrainian have been deported to Russia.
That’s the figure provided by Ukraine’s UN ambassador Serhiy Dvornik, during a UN Security Council meeting in late May. He added that 16% of them are children (taken from orphanages, separated from their parents, or deported along with their families).
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
1.4 million Ukrainian have been deported to Russia.

For reference, their logistics is such a shitshow that a fair number of those have escaped and jumped on busses to here in Tallinn. Technically, some did have brief problems entering Estonia, because they had no entry stamp to Russia on their passports. One can only assume the Russians had not expected them to need to be "processed" elsewhere.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
For reference, their logistics is such a shitshow that a fair number of those have escaped and jumped on busses to here in Tallinn. Technically, some did have brief problems entering Estonia, because they had no entry stamp to Russia on their passports. One can only assume the Russians had not expected them to need to be "processed" elsewhere.
The UNHCR says there are ~40k refugees registered in Estonia as of May 25th, so I can't imagine those escapees to be more than a drop in the bucket, compared to the alleged 1.4 million (UNHCR estimates 1.04 million per June 1st, source https://data.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine ).

The bad security suggests that refugee women and children in Russia are severely at risk of being trafficked. (This risk exists everywhere, but it's obviously worst where nobody cares.)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai disagreed with the UK Defense Ministry forecast on June 3 that Russian forces will seize the remaining 10% of the oblast in the next two weeks, claiming that Ukrainian forces have enough reinforcements and equipment to conduct further counterattacks and defend their positions.

While Russian forces may still be able to capture Severodonetsk and Lysychansk and Ukrainian forces are likely more degraded than Haidai’s statements imply, Ukrainian defenses remain strong in this pivotal theater. The Russian military has concentrated all of its available resources on this single battle to make only modest gains. The Ukrainian military contrarily retains the flexibility and confidence to not only conduct localized counterattacks elsewhere in Ukraine (such as north of Kherson) but conduct effective counterattacks into the teeth of Russian assaults in Severodonetsk that reportedly retook 20% of the city in the last 24 hours. The Ukrainian government’s confidence in directly stating its forces can hold Severodonetsk for more than two weeks and willingness to conduct local counterattacks, rather than strictly remaining on the defensive, is a marked shift from Ukrainian statements as recently as May 28 that Ukrainian forces might withdraw from Severodonetsk to avoid encirclement.[4]

Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful assaults on Bohorodychne in a likely attempt to link up with units attempting to seize Sviatohirsk from the east—two settlements approximately 25km southeast of Izyum.[9] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to shell Sviatohirsk and its surroundings.[10] Ukrainian officials reported that Russian artillery fire started a fire that destroyed the Sviatohirsk Lavra (monastery) of the Moscow Patriarchate, but ISW cannot independently verify this claim.[11] The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the fire on Ukrainian forces and claimed that Russian forces did not launch assaults on Sviatohirsk.[12]

Source: https://mobile.twitter.com/Podolyak_M/status/1533079092773388288


The monastery had already suffered severe damage in May (npu.gov.ua, CC-BY 4.0).
St._George's_Skete_of_Sviatohirsk_Lavra_after_Russian_shelling_(01).jpg
Before that, it was damaged in March:
Source: https://twitter.com/TimLeBerre/status/1502992345259728897


Article:
Damaged cultural sites in Ukraine verified by UNESCO

As of 30 May, UNESCO has verified damage to 139 sites since 24 February – 62 religious sites, 12 museums, 26 historic buildings, 17 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, 15 monuments, 7 libraries.

To date, no UNESCO World Heritage site appears to have been damaged.

That UNESCO page has a detailed list, grouped by region.

Article:
[UNESCO] says it assesses damage reported in the media or by Ukrainian officials and has a system to monitor main Ukrainian sites and monuments via satellite imagery.

"Our experts continue to verify each report and it is feared that other sites will be added to this list," a UNESCO spokesperson told NPR.

Both Russian and Ukraine have signed on to an act by the Hague Convention in 1954 that protects cultural property during armed conflict. It prohibits and condemns all attacks and damage to cultural heritage.

If cultural sites are marked with a blue shield — the convention's emblem — it means they are under the protection of the convention. If attacks are committed against these sites, UNESCO says, the perpetrators will be held responsible for acts constituting war crimes.

Download.jpeg.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces likely retain control over most of Severodonetsk as of June 6, despite Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai’s June 5 claims that Ukrainian counterattacks retook considerable ground and drove Russian troops to the eastern outskirts of the city.[9] Haidai issued another statement on June 6 expanding on his previous statement and said that the situation had “deteriorated” and that Ukrainian troops are fighting in the industrial zone of the Azot plant.[10] Ukrainian journalist Yuri Butusov additionally reported on June 5 that claims of Ukrainian counterattacks were untrue and that Ukrainian forces only hold the Azot plant and surrounding neighborhoods.[11] The reason for the conflicting reports on June 5 is unclear and ISW cannot independently confirm if Ukrainian forces did indeed retake large parts of Severodonetsk at the time of Haidai’s statement and subsequently lost the terrain by June 6, or if Ukrainian forces did not make these counterattacks at all.

I found this notable because ISW doesn't usually report on contradictions among Ukrainian news sources—contradictions between Ukraine and Russia, or among Russians, are regularly reported.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Haidai clarified previous reports from June 5-7 that Ukrainian forces regained half of Severodonetsk during a counterattack on June 5, but stated that they then withdrew to previous positions following Russian ground, artillery, and air strikes on June 6.

Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Oleksandr Motuzyanyk noted that Russian forces deployed 30 T-62 tanks to “long-term” (likely meaning defensive) firing points in Vasylivka, which is a likely attempt to strengthen control over the T0812 highway that runs from Vasylivka to Orikhiv and Huliapole.

The area on the ISW interactive map:
SmartSelect_20220609-060255_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukrainian officials are increasing the urgency of their requests for more-sophisticated Western-provided weapons systems amid reports of growing Russian artillery superiority. Several Western media outlets reported in the last 48 hours that Ukrainian military and government officials are increasingly highlighting the fact that Ukrainian troops are trapped in an “artillery war” on critical frontlines and are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of artillery systems.[1] Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Vadym Skibitsky stated that Russian troops possess 10 to 15 artillery pieces to every one Ukrainian artillery piece and that Ukrainian forces have almost completely exhausted their artillery ammunition.[2] Considering the current prevalence of protracted positional battles, especially in the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area, Ukrainian forces urgently need fresh supplies of artillery systems. As Ukrainian forces use the last of their stocks of Soviet-era weapon systems and munitions, they will require consistent Western support to transition to new supply chains of ammunition and key artillery systems. Effective artillery will be increasingly decisive in the largely static fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Much like the previous fighting in Mariupol, the exact nature of the control of urban areas in Severodonetsk likely remains obfuscated as the information environment surrounding hostilities becomes increasingly restricted.

Russian forces conducted ground, air, and artillery attacks to the east of Bakhmut on June 10 in a continued effort to cut the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway. [14]
That highway looks cut on ISW's interactive map:
SmartSelect_20220611-013158_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai stated that Russian forces destroyed two bridges across the Siverskyi Donets River between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk and are heavily shelling the third.[4]

Russian forces continue to struggle with generating additional combat-capable units. The UK Ministry of Defense reported on June 12 that Russian forces have been trying to produce more combat units by preparing to deploy third battalion tactical groups (BTGs) from some units over the last few weeks.[1] The UK MoD noted that Russian brigades and regiments normally can generate two BTGs, but doing so leaves the parent units largely hollow shells. The UK MOD concluded that these third BTGs will likely be understaffed and rely on recruits and mobilized reservists. Their deployment will likely adversely impact the capacity of their parent units to regenerate their combat power for quite some time. BTGs generated in this fashion will not have the combat power of regular BTGs. It will be important not to overestimate Russian reserves produced in this way by counting these third BTGs as if they were normal BTGs.

Australian military historian Perun has a new video out on Russian infantry, and he mentioned that the "third BTGs" are training units, kinda like you sent a company of drill sergeants to the front. These people would be capable and well equipped, but if you later choose to mobilize, you'd have nobody left to train the new recruits (or bring the reservists up to speed), so it's not sustainable.
SmartSelect_20220613-052304_Samsung Internet.jpg

He also makes a point that some of the information discrepancies are partially caused by DNR/LNR militias:
• Ukraine claims they're fighting against conscripts, Russia says they're not sending conscripts, but DNR/LNR are. (They also drafted men up to 65 years of age, and equip them badly.)
• "Russian casualties" reported by Ukraine probably include DNR/LNR casualties, while Russian casualty reports do not
Screenshot_20220612-175937_YouTube.jpg

TIMESTAMPS
00:00:00 -- The image of military power
00:01:48 -- There are questions to be asked
00:02:59 -- The contention: The Russian Army has too much metal and not enough grunts
00:03:29 -- What am I covering?
00:04:32 -- The jobs only infantry can do
00:08:30 -- The jobs only infantry can do: Armies do know it, including the Russian Army
00:10:51 -- Where are the Russian infantry?
00:13:24 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 1: the Russian Army is too small
00:16:03 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 2: Mobilisation
00:17:11 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 3: Undermanning
00:18:27 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 4: Over-Armouring
00:20:02 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 5: Organisation (Private Conscriptovic returns)
00:22:40 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Issue 6: Early losses
00:24:46 -- Where are the Russian infantry? Recap
00:26:52 -- Russian Solutions: Shadow Mobilisation
00:28:16 -- Russian Solutions: The TikTokers and the Wagner Group
00:29:13 -- Russian Solutions: Training unit cannibalization
00:31:28 -- Russian Solutions: The Donbass Proxy forces
00:31:43 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: What are the DLPR (DPR/LPR)?
00:33:26 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Disclaimer on DPR/LPR sources
00:34:59 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Pre-war forces & subsequent mobilisation
00:36:41 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Verification & Numbers
00:37:52 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Training
00:40:04 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Equipment
00:43:11 -- The Donbass Proxy Forces: Are they the Cannon Fodder?
00:46:03 -- What Russia needs vs what they have
00:47:07 -- The discrepancy between the Russian narrative and and use of DLPR forces
00:47:55 -- Why does this matter
00:49:58 -- Sustainability
00:51:33 -- Channel Update
Source: https://youtu.be/AKewF8_SiIs
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Western officials announced additional military aid for Ukraine on June 15. US President Joe Biden pledged $1 billion worth of military aid, including coastal defense weapons, advanced rocket systems, artillery, and ammunition to support Ukrainian operations.[1] NATO members additionally announced they will additionally continue to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons and long-range systems and plan to agree on a new assistance package after consultations with Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.


 
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