End of August there was talk about a Kherson Oblast offense towards Crimea, bombing the Kerch bridge (the bridge between Crimea and Russia) and so forth and Zelenskyy announced how there was a special operation going on and media needed to keep things quiet.
Then rumors started to be heard about something going on in Kharkiv Oblast and now Kharkiv Oblast is nearly full reclaimed and moving east and down towards Donetsk, Luhansk, and Donbas.
Meanwhile the Kherson Oblast Offense started making moves and is going forward towards Crimea.
here is what im seeing. this is basic math and open source reporting so im keeping opsec. UKR army has built at least 3 battle groups. each about the size of a US division (3-4 brigades with attached elements working together).
the VAST majority of the vehicles are wheeled vehicles. this seems to be built like the US 9th infantry div (1985-91) truly motorized divisions. the makeup is infantry transports (HMMWVs, pick ups), scout. dune buggies FASTVs, and backed up by MRAPS, BTRs... with tanks attached
this allows the ukr forces to move fast hit hard and hold with dismounted ATGMs. the russian army with "death before dismount mentality has no way to counter this. as they are sending reinforcements into the battle they are hitting ambushes and counter attacks prior to deploying
im betting that the ukr army has made 3 battle groups. one that hit kherson, one that hit the north, and one that has not been played yet.
if you are battletracker (i am) you count vehicles by TO&E (donated, sold vehicles) and look for them in combat as BDA. sofar many of some types of vehicles donated HAVE NOT shown up on the battlefield, yet.
if my numbers are right only about 1/2 of the new "secret" army has been used. this means another strike is coming....soon... and just like the north strike this will be too fast for the ru forces to counter.
in addition MANY more vehicles are being given to the ukr forces right now. and the troops that were holding the line are being recovered, rested, and rearmed... in 14-30 days the ukr army will have 2-3 more battle groups (divisions) that can be thrown into the fight
im really not tracking any unengaged fresh troops of anything over a brigade that ru still has that could counter any attack of that size... but time will tell keep in mind that both sides are showing old video of units that were in training... many of the vid of some vehicles are not in combat.. they are old training vid and the vehicles are NOT yet in combat.. they will be when the time is right i will say this. the ukr army has 4 options to strike the next blow, any of the 4 could spell the end of the russian army in that FRONT. this would enable the ukr army to swing its remaining army to the opposite front crushing the surviving ru forces
Thread, this is a rough summary of what is going on:
Brief recap: Mid-July to late August, Ukraine systematically targeted russian supply lines around Kherson, Kharkiv, Crimea, Donbas & other areas. The 80km HIMARS range, and other undisclosed arms allowed clinical strikes. The AFU warned of an imminent Kherson counter offensive
2/n The russians, seeing the strikes & warnings, started reinforcing Kherson with up to 30,000 soldiers. The Ukrainians continued to attack logistics, and exit routes, making it almost impossible for russia to resupply their forward soldiers.
3/n End of Aug / beginning of Sep, Ukraine announced it was going on the counter offensive for Kherson, but that they would not share any info. Pro russia journalists and politicians immediately used this to say that the counter-offensive on day 1-2-3 was failing / had failed
4/n Around the 3rd/4th of Sep, rumours started appearing that Ukraine had made enormous gains around Kharkiv, even though this had never been a stated aim for the operation. However, opsec did not allow for concrete details. Progress was starting to become visible in Kherson area
5/n On the 5th of Sep, it became obvious to all that Ukraine's counter-offensive was moving rapidly in multiple directions, and they had taken Balakliia by complete surprise - rumours started appearing that it too had fallen, and the russians could not reinforce there
6/n On 6th Sep, images of Balakliia started appearing with Ukrainian flags, and the general staff announced that more than a dozen settlements had been freed. At the same time, rumours started appearing that Kherson offensive was on, but AFU was moving even faster than expected
7/n 6th cont: OSINT & commentators started talking about a small town called Kupiansk, which was the key to russian supply lines for Izyum, a city they've occupied for months. russians started to realise the level of crap they were in, and became desperate to reinforce
8/n By the 7th, Balakliia was confirmed to be around Ukraine, huge advances in and around Kherson, & it was clear the russians were unable to reinforce in any way. Stories of 1000+ POWs, 600+ KIAs started coming out. Meanwhile, AFU opened up 2 axes to take Kupiyansk
9/n By the 8th, reports of further progress had appeared on all fronts, and the AFU was rumoured to have taken Kupiyansk, though not confirmed. russians lost another 650+ KIA, and serious panic started to spread. Videos surfaced of russians reinforcing, but those were fake.
10/n Today, it is certain that Kupiansk has been taken, but the scope of the counter-offensive is bigger than anyone could have imagined. Intense fighting around Izyum, Lyman confirmed, and reports of huge numbers of PoWs coming out. At the same time, AFU advances to Kherson
11/n Meanwhile, there have been explosions in Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdyansk, Crimea, and a whole bunch of other cities, by partisans and the AFU. russians are unable to reinforce in any area, their weapons are not working, and numerous videos are emerging of their surrenders
12/n The real scope of this counter-offensive is unclear, but it's starting to look like a turning point in this war. Remember, what you or I can see on the internet is behind a day at least. And from what I'm hearing the situation is far worse for the russians than what we see.
14/n Izyum has been liberated on the 10th of Sep, after a surprise operation by the AFU in the dead of night. russians were surrounded, cut off from all communication and supplies, and after taking heavy defeats, tried to run, and then surrendered.
Lyman has been liberated. Explosions in Mariupol, and Ukrainian flags going up on buildings there. Patience my friends, patience.
Unconfirmed: AFU near Lysychansk, russians retreating from Lysychansk to Severodonetsk.
Advances in Kherson region also taking place rapidly.
So I'm going to start Crimea liberation party planning soon, if you have any ideas, let me know. #jokingnotjoking
Everything will be Ukraine. We believe in the Armed forces of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!
Watch this beautiful moment of the troops singing their national anthem before going back to winning the war:
This is the russian MoD acknowledging the withdrawal from Kharkiv and the strategically important cities of Izyum & Kupyansk. The straight face during the lie of ‘regrouping of forces’ is priceless.
The video from above but manipulated to be shown on the Zelenskyy comedy show:
There was a TV show in Ukraine in which amateur comedians could win a lot of money if they manage to make Zelensky and his co-juror laugh. Now Russian defense ministry spokesman is the total winner with his epic “it was a regrouping operation” explanation.
This is now a few hours old and you've probably heard (sigh), but Girkin suggested transferring Belgorod Oblast of Russia to Ukraine so that the authorities could say Russia is not being shelled anymore.
Obviously unverified but this call comes from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence hotline for Russians who want to surrender. The Russian man is asking where he can surrender and if his sack will be safe. (U)=Ukrainian (R)=Russian
September 8, 2022
This is what unity looks like! Nearly 50 countries joined together at @RamsteinAirBase for the fifth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. I am extremely proud of the progress on the discussion to intensify our efforts to support Ukraine and strengthen our @NATO alliance.
And now 2 days later we are talking about Ukraine in the process of retaking Donbas all the way to the Russian border and sweeping down to the Kherson and retaking Crimea.
This is what they were planning, wasn't it?
I would post up to date maps but they keep becoming outdated every few hours.
8 hours ago:
New map from Rybar. Reports of increasing AFU pressure towards Velykyi Burluk (top right, blue hexagon). Getting closer to the border.
5 hours ago:
Early reports of Russian Armed Forces abandoning Vovchans'k, the border city in Kharkiv Oblast. As a reminder, it has been reported that Ukraine is actively moving towards Velykyi Burluk.
5 hours ago:
5 hours ago:
We’re watching a master class in modern combat in real time. Ukraine isolated Kupyansk, completely cut off the logistics to Izyum, and now there are credible rumors that Izyum is back under UKR control. At this point, I’m just going to assume Russia likes being put in pockets.
Quick explainer here: Kupyansk is a critical rail hub that essentially holds the keys to the Russian battle plan in the Kharkiv region. Hence the withdrawal today. Izyum is also an absolutely *vital* strategic piece for either side. You can see why on this ISW map.
Further down, between Izyum and Lysychansk (the red marker on this map), you have Lyman. The Ukrainian forces cut off the rail hub at Kupyansk, pushed down from Kharkiv/Kupyansk, and up from Lyman. Russia was in real danger of being completely surrounded.
BREAKING: The Ukrainian Army has entered Vovchansk. It means that Ukraine is taking back all the territory up to the border in a new blitz-operation started earlier today. The question is now whether to strike the Russian border city Belgorod.
Historical map of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, 1918-19. Bilgorod was a part of Ukraine back then. Not suggesting anything, just saying…
With the speed that the Ukrainian Army is advancing today, we just might wake up tomorrow to a picture of Ukrainian soldiers celebrating after taking the Russian border city of Belgorod.
Ukrainian MP @GoncharenkoUa writes that the Ukrainian Army has entered the Donetsk Airport according to his sources.
Looks like Ukrainian troops have entered the Luhansk region and are nearing Severodonetsk.
Reminder Donetsk and Luhansk have been in LPR (Russian) control since 2014 the same as Crimea. Putin invading Ukraine has allowed Ukraine to reclaim their land that Russia took from them nearly 10 years ago.
They will be talking about this Offense for many many years. It will be taught in military classes across the world.
Ukraine has the Russian military on the run for the border just six months (200 days) after Russia invaded for a 3 day military operation to 'protect' the LPR.