The ninth year of protracted and bloody hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. And 90 days of the most fierce war in Europe since World War II.
What did Russia try to show (spoiler — unsuccessfully) and when will we start winning?
Cosplay U.S, in Iraq: Something went wrong
Three months of Moscow's attempts to cosplay a real U.S. superpower in Iraq are clearly visible:
- missile strikes;
- attempts to suppress air defense;
- deep raids, despite the discontinuous defense and garrisons of the cities;
- quick frontal assault on the capital.
I seem to remember how near-war Russian bloggers savored that the Putin regime was conducting a "military-police operation", the objective of which would be surgical strikes against the radicals who had seized power in Ukraine.
The main thing is the minimum losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the minimum damage to civilian infrastructure.
Snip-snip — and surrender.
A month later, the world saw Kharkiv slashed by reactors, Borodianka actually destroyed, stolen harvesters from Kherson that surfaced in Chechnya, Popasna and Volnovakha demolished by artillery. And dozens of damaged columns of the aggressor.
Something went wrong.
Cheats from Elon Musk and NATO
Three months of howling alarms at night, curfews, blackout measures, strikes of half-ton "cigars" against sleeping cities, the suffering of millions of refugees who were darted away from their homes by the winds of war.
Can we bring some intermediate results?
The main thing that Kyiv managed to do was to maintain control over the entire vertical. Over both troops and mobilization deployment, as well as military-civilian administrations in the rear.
The enemy was unable to suppress air defense, complete a sweep of the Air Force, and decapitate the army in the missile phase.
They were unable to suppress the communications lines and knock out the radar systems, and then we got cheats in the form of Starlink and NATO AWACS aircraft (aviation systems for radio detection and guidance) hanging on the border with Poland.
What Ukraine could do better
Much was not done before the war — a closed cycle of ammunition production within the country, the restoration of arsenals and their transfer to capsule shelters was not completed, the production of the same BTR-4 was not well-functioning, we were critically late with the blades to helicopters.
This list goes on and on.
Much could have been done differently — to allocate more funds during the threatened period for the Territorial Defense Forces, to call up 60,000 reservists as early as January, to put them on a shovel in the area of Antonovskiy Bridge, Chornobaivka, and Tokmak.
Even a company of those mobilized with RPGs and given "Rapier" at the stronghold could change a lot in the speed the Russians were moving south with.
But the plan is the first casualty of the battle. Nothing can be done about this. Although conclusions must be drawn.
What Kyiv can achieve now
We must continue to conduct a difficult defensive operation and grind down the enemy's offensive capabilities.
At first, the Putin regime could advance near Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Kharkov, and in the former JFO zone simultaneously. Now they can only press in the JFO zone. Although press quite hard.
After the breakthrough near Popasna and the threat to the flank, we left the Svitlodarsk "arc" — about 22,000 people, the dam, and the Vuhlehirsk thermal power plant.
There were attempts to blow up the dam, disable the power plant, people were called to evacuate for two months in a row — we leave "scorched earth" to the enemy even in case of withdrawal.
There are fierce battles around Severodonetsk and street fighting in Lyman. The enemy swarms out from the north, trying straddle lines of communications near Avdiivka.
Bald tanks and "DPR’s" saxophonists
There are companies with 20 men left and tank battalions with several vehicles. But the enemy also has all this.
The echelons of the "bald" T-62s that saw Brezhnev are already leaving storage en masse, and in Moskovsky Komsomolets there is an excellent article by a now killed tank battalion commander — about 11 Russian vehicles disabled by Javelins as a result of two skirmishes.
The frontal assaults on Avdiivka with 250 irretrievable losses per day and the mobilization of teachers and saxophonists in the "DPR" mean only one thing — the Russians are grinding down their professional army and the professional army of the collaborators sending them against the most fortified defensive area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
SPG and Harpoon are already on the way
At the strategic level, we continue to reduce the numerical and technological gap from the enemy.
Switchblade kamikaze UAVs and company-level Puma UAVs, as well as heavy 155mm howitzers from half a dozen countries are heading to us.
We are also waiting for French, Norwegian, and German self-propelled guns (SPG), Czech Mi-24V, and Danish Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
"Gifts" from the West come to Poland, our people master weapons and equipment, and then all this goes by railways or trawls to the line of contact.
So far, the Russians cannot interfere with Western supplies. It is for their population, fooled by propaganda, they can shoot prop play about nuclear ashes and threats to hit supply lines. So what scares them?
Ticket to heaven for Russian oligarchs
Since the Cold War, the U.S. doctrine for any use of tactical nuclear weapons by "the Soviets" was to be followed by an instant strike by strategic nuclear forces on launchers, boat bases, and command.
Any staff games with the use of tactical nuclear weapons led to an increase in escalation to a full-scale nuclear conflict. And why then give the enemy time to prepare the first strike?
In general, the Russian Federation does not have the capacity for a deep air operation in the west of Ukraine, and threats to the Alliance may end up as a ticket to paradise, where Russian oligarchs with palaces and wine cellars are clearly not planning to go.
Therefore, equipment, ammunition, and weapons will continue to arrive — they will soon be delivered not by planes, but by ships with a lag of one and a half weeks for delivery and a month for training.
When Kyiv’s preponderance to become noticeable
Ukraine has no other choice but to arm the Reserve Corps, restore the combat capability of disabled brigades, counterattack and, if we already give our cities in the east to the enemy, then in the state of Popasna and Volnovakha.
Since the Russians are changing their professional army and troops of constant readiness to ruins worn to a frazzle.
Because the alternative is filtration camps, Bucha, raped children, and teeth pulled out in basements. That is, there is no alternative.
By mid-summer, supplies from Britain, the U.S., and the EU will begin to influence the operational level of the battle, and Ukraine already has several brigade-level units waiting only for heavy weapons.
By the middle of summer, the Russians will also bring up BARS, Wagner PMC fighters, withdraw troops from Syria, recruit volunteers as much as possible for 300,000 rubles in depressed regions.
Around August, the fiercest battles will begin that will decide the fate of the entire summer campaign of 2022.
Protecting personnel and drone killing
At the moment we are doing the same thing that we did in the north and near Kyiv — we do not allow encirclements, slaughter of command, signalmen, gunners, drone and electronic warfare operators. All those who have been preparing for months and years, and they cannot be run through short training.
We draw the enemy into chewing through our lines of defense, minefields, and counter-battery combat. They already have significantly fewer drones hanging over their heads 24/7, and bald tanks with hastily assembled crews go into battle.
They cannot win a race with the West when being sanctioned, so they are killed in frontal attacks and are drawn into street fights in one of the largest agglomerations of Eastern Europe.
In which we will bury their advancing army.
90 thundering, abundantly blood-stained days. Honor and glory to all those who died for the defense of our country. We will win.
- Earlier, we reported how Vietnam-era armored personnel carriers would help Ukraine in the battle for Donbas this year.
- We also explained how Phoenixes from the USA would change the rules of the battle for Donbas.