Ukraine update: Russia’s five offensive axes fall into one: Donbas

Zaporozhye region. I hope to be able to visit peaceful Ukraine next summer.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today, 9 months have passed since the illegal occupation of Russia. Basically we’re going to do some bullet point updates today. I solve it as quickly as I can and skip the self-editing. Everyone else is out today. So please forgive the crude prose and any errors in grammar, spelling, and clarity.


These are Vladimir Putin’s “allies” in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russia’s laughable answer to NATO. Armenia, angry that none of the other states included in the organization (including Russia) helped it, because neighboring Azerbaijan invaded and occupied a large part of its territory a few months ago, is leaving.

The other two member states-Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been fighting on the border for the past two months. Kazakhstan approached Beijing, and China warned Russia to stop interfering in Kazakhstan’s affairs.

This latest development has predictably infuriated Russian nationalists.


Oh boy, the Kazakh government did not take it well, it took it away Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov suggested people “not to listen and not watch” the propaganda of the Russian state. More awkwardness.

This is… incredible:

This is a military vehicle graveyard with hundreds of damaged and destroyed tanks and armored personnel carriers near the Russian city of Belgorod near the northern border of Ukraine. Oryx, which maintains a database of visually verified equipment kills, is clearly anxious to deal with this.

Currently Ukraine claims Destroyed 2898 tanks and 5839 armored vehicles. The Oryx database counts 1,505 destroyed, captured and damaged Russian tanks and 3,357 other armored vehicles. While the equipment graveyard above doesn’t close the gap, it certainly reduces it and shows that Ukraine’s numbers aren’t as crazy as some might think.


Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán claims Sweden and Finland are not opposed to NATO membership, and “next year” is only a month away. All this is academic, because the real obstacle is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This may be postponed until the next presidential elections in Turkey next June.

Indeed, Turkey’s big beef is Scandinavia’s support for the plight of Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran (another place where arbitrarily drawn colonial borders continue to divide people and create intractable instability). It is also a point of conflict with the United States – two days ago, Turkey bombed a base in northern Syria used by the Kurds, Syrian allies and … our own forces (no one was present at the time of the attack). To say the situation is delicate, to put it mildly, it’s hard to see Erdogan relaxing any time soon.

It looks a lot like North Korea. And … what is Hungary’s excuse?

We started again.


Ukraine liberates entire provinces and the only regional capital that Russia has ever captured, and Russia boasts of capturing. garbage dump, ditto. Mark Sumner has joked in the past (referring to commentators, I believe) that the Battle of Bachmuth read like a battle for the mall: “One more fight at TJ Max!”

Russia is a terrorist state.


Barbarians. The military significance of these attacks on residential areas is zero. Russia is trying to scare the peaceful inhabitants of Ukraine.

Oh, that’s good information, ie:


It was once a five-front war – Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Donbas and Kherson. Today, only Donbas remains – northern Luhansk (Svatove) and Donetsk (Bakhmut, Donetsk suburbs and Pavlivka/Vulhedar).

Ukraine has systematically pushed Russia into a united front, and it is unable to conduct any offensive operations of serious strategic importance. The downside is that Russia can now concentrate all of its forces, including artillery, on a smaller front line. Of course, Ukraine can do it too, but that means that this meat grinder of the front becomes even more deadly for both sides.

Ukraine will want to prevent a repeat of the April-June fighting in Donbas. Russia has an almost endless supply of cannon fodder mobilized for suicide attacks on Ukrainian trenches. It is equally difficult to advance over the masses of Russian bodies in fortified defensive positions. The key will be to continue to degrade Russian command and control and logistics. This means that Svatove and Starobilsk are a must, as it will take the center of Belgorod out of the war, force Russia to build supply lines to Ukraine’s eastern border, as well as destroy Russia’s presence in southeastern Ukraine. leave it open to do.

Then we would be back on the February borders in the Donbas, where Russia is seriously depleted. It’s no coincidence that today’s war videos mostly show Russian infantry being torn apart by drones and artillery, and very little Russian armor is visible. They have nothing but toss in the grinder.

This means we can expect several more months of mass death around Bakhmut and Svatove and other settlements around those “hot” areas on the map above, as Ukraine simply holds its ground while planning strategic advances south towards Melitopol/Crimea and Svatove. Starobilsk in the northeast. Too bad for those poor Ukrainians stuck in those trenches. What a nightmare.

My guess? And this is not an offer or a demand, but a guess — after Ukraine initially pushed Russia back to the borders of the Donbass in February, the possibility of negotiations becomes real if Russian positions in southern Crimea are threatened by Ukraine.