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Home POLITICS News (confusing) of the Kherson offensive in Ukraine

News (confusing) of the Kherson offensive in Ukraine

Ukrainian artillery working on Russian positions, somewhere on the front.

It’s always a challenge to peer through the fog of war to determine what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine, especially when it comes to breaking news like the Ukrainian counter-offensive, and even more so when it’s in theater, Kherson in southern Ukraine. , in which Ukraine has imposed a tight lid on information.

As such, what is discussed below may be distorted or even completely wrong. Details will be ironed out in the coming days as the open source community aggregates its various sources of information to paint a more accurate picture. But for now, I’ll discuss what seems to be happening, with the best information available.

First of all, there is a simple question: is a major offensive really taking place in Kherson? Illia Ponomarenko, a defense writer for the Kyiv Independent, raised some potential questions about the early reports.

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“Tactical” means they are just localized actions without broader strategic considerations. We have seen it happen several times, since March: we see activity, we think “counter-offensive”. just to see minimal movement on the map. Still, there are reasons to believe this is different, if for no other reason than Ukraine has said it is. I always hate announcing offensive operations, it’s he yelled out loud.

“Today we started offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region,” Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne quoted southern command spokeswoman Natalya Humenyuk as saying on August 29. She confirmed the news minutes later in a briefing.

Anything less than a serious Kherson offensive would make the Ukraine look weak. Given the rest of the evidence, we can probably take these claims at face value.

While Ukraine hates announcing releases while operations are underway, information is leaking from a wide front, and Ukraine is putting pressure down the line.

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Don’t worry about the exact location of the settlement names listed in the tweets above, it’s all hearsay and guesswork at this point, and none of those towns are important enough to be considered a breakthrough. All that is important is that Ukraine is making progress in several places, even if Russian sources claim they have already made up lost ground. (I can strongly believe that those deals are being actively contested by both sides.)

I’ve seen rumblings of progress along other parts of this front, including the northeastern edge of Russian-held territory, on the banks of the Dnipro River (top right on this map). Still, there is no evidence of anything beyond what is being discussed on Telegram and perhaps leaked from more official sources. Remember, this is a very flat part of Ukraine, very exposed to artillery and aviation attacks. This is why Ukraine is known to degrade Russia’s supply depots as well as supply routes. Once Russia runs out of artillery shells, the task becomes very different from the one they are facing right now.

As it stands, pro-Russian Telegram sources claimed that Ukrainian forces had advanced 10 kilometers at various points along the front, which must have made them very jealous given their icy pace on the Donbass front. (Again, no actual confirmation.)

Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov, who does a daily YouTube update, states that Ukraine has broken through a “first line of defense” towards Kherson, but that at least two more lines remain.

The Ukrainian forces have broken through the first line of defense, the 109th regiment of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th field army abandoned their positions together with the Russian VDV that supported them. Ukrainian forces took these positions. Confirmation of this is awaited. This was the result of Ukrainian artillery and aviation leading the Russian forces to lose combat capability, or it was the result of an assault.

Oleg suggests waiting for the official information.

When it comes to further advance, it is important to remember that the Russians have built 3 defense lines in the direction of Kherson, although the first two were already broken in previous months. Fast forward is not possible, we have to be patient.

TThe 109th regiment, made up of conscripts from Donbas, was defeated after the Russians “eliteThe VDV airborne troops abandoned their positions. This is very “fog of war“Type of info and nothing II would put money. But the VDV was decimated in the Battle of Kyiv, and theyI’ve been sitting here since March recovering. It would not be surprising if they lacked the will to continue fighting, and the Donbas cannon fodder is not motivated to die so far from home.

I think something is lost in the translation of the last paragraph, but the essence is that even if Ukraine has overcome the first lines of defense, there are many more obstacles ahead for them. This Ukrainian soldier talks about the difficulties in his first wave of assault

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He talks about having to charge across an open field, littered with mines, while Russian drones dropped grenades from above (including one that shocked him) and artillery landed around him. He also says that they lacked communications, which made coordination difficult. If he can’t see the subtitles, he will fully expand the video.

Presidential Advisor Alexey Arestovich has its own take on the counteroffensive:

The UAF began a small counteroffensive in a southerly direction, broke through the Russian first line of defense in several places, and is currently trying to advance deeper into Russian-occupied territory.

Simultaneously, several bridges were hit by artillery and HIMARS (Antonovskij bridge, Antonovskij railway bridge, Dar’jvskij and Nova Kahovka bridges). Later in the evening, pontoon ferries along with Russian military equipment. Two other pontoon bridges were destroyed or damaged. All Dnipro crossings are under Ukrainian fire control. […]

Arestovych also mentioned the success of Ukrainian aviation, which increased its activity after the destruction of Russian air defense radars.

It’s interesting that he calls it a “little counteroffensive.” Setting expectations? In any case, this lays out the Ukrainian strategy that we’ve been talking about for months: lure in the Russians, isolate them, attack them, and then…really, now we hope they decide that dying on this piece of land far from their homes is foolish.

The assault marked a turning point in the war:

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The shift from strategic targets (supply depots, command and control, bridges, supply lines, etc.) to tactical targets (troops in the trenches) presumably meant they had run out of long-range targets, since the M777s and other tube artillery could hit these emplacements just as effectively and cheaper. Perhaps the US still has old unguided MLRS rockets to offer, since guided ones are very expensive and in short supply.

Still, guided artillery can be very effective against trenches, as this video shows, geolocated at Kherson airport (sensitive footage, and I’d suggest turning down the volume):

After night fell, Ukraine struck again at bridges linking Russian forces in Kherson oblast with their supply lines in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

In addition to Nova Kakhovka, there were reports and some footage of Ukraine hitting barges that partly replaced lost access after Ukraine closed the Antonovsky Bridge.

Take a look to NASA FIRMS satellite datawhich is designed to track wildfires, but does a great job of tracking the Ukrainian front lines:

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That certainly follows what is reported, with fire concentrated on all three Ukrainian advances: west of Kherson approaching Tomyna Balka, north of Kherson around Davydiv Brid, and northeast of Kherson on the approach to Kryvyi Rih.

Russia, which claims it has shot down more Ukrainian planes than Ukraine has ever had in its Air Force, has some lofty casualty claims for the day: 560 Ukrainian troops, 26 tanks, 23 armored fighting vehicles, nine troop carriers and two planes. Of course.

The information may be difficult to obtain for a while, since the General Staff of Ukraine requested that “everyone goes dark posting any information, videos, photos, regarding the Battle for Kherson. Operation Security is critical.” I suspect that we will get more information from the pro-Russia telegram than from the Ukrainian side in the coming days and weeks.

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This is what it’s like to be close to the receiving end of a HIMARS/MLRS attack:


Tuesday, August 30, 2022 1:47:05 +00:00

·
island of Kos

OMG

Russia is stuck, losing ground on multiple fronts, Sweden and Finland are joining NATO, Europe is looking elsewhere for its energy needs, the UN keeps berating them, they never achieved air superiority, and their navy is hiding from a country without a navy. .

So yes, sure, Russia is winning…


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