Supply Loss Forces Thinly-Spread Russians Into Local Withdrawal from Nikolayev Outskirts

The minor territorial reversal isn't as important as the issue which caused it

Here overextension caused a minor withdrawal of no importance, but elsewhere it is slowing down key strategic advances

Pro-Russians and anti-Russians agree that yesterday Ukrainians made gains around Nikolayev. Particularly to the south of Nikolayev in the direction of Kherson.

They’re also in possession of the Bug river bank to the north of Nikolayev but it’s unclear if that was taken yesterday or if they’ve held that the whole time.

The Ukrainians claim they made the gains in a glorious frontal offensive beating back and destroying the Russians, but it is equally likely that the Russians fell back voluntarily to shorten their supply lines that were getting hit time and again. 

Source for the map: Yurasumy, Ukrainian blogger from Sumy who fled to Russia after the Maidan

In other words, the Russians recognized that they were spread too thinly, and that they were asking too much of their supply troops (to run lightly-escorted convoys over roads that the enemy couldn’t be reliably blocked from) and tempered their ambition for the time being.

This is an issue I already wrote about. The Russians are trying to do so many things all at once that they’re spreading themselves too thinly everywhere. The campaign in southwestern Ukraine beyond the Dnieper is the microcosm of this and the most obvious example:

This last effort is particularly difficult to understand. Russia is attacking the great vastness of southwestern Ukraine beyond the Dnieper with a force of under 7,000 men.

While the advance from Kherson past Nikolayev and to Voznesensk looks impressive on a map it means that with every step taken its flank gets longer and there are fewer forces left to face forward. The thinly spread troops are then forced to fight small-scale skirmishes in which, spread out as they are, they hold no advantage over the enemy which can locally muster firepower equal to theirs. The Ukrainians have also been able to raid their exposed supply lines, taking prisoners.

It’s one thing to be advancing with a small force up a narrow peninsula where you can anchor yourself against the sea, but to be pouring into the open steppe with under 10,000 men just expands your flanks into infinity until you are inevitably too thinly spread.

In fact, the Russian withdrawal from Posad-Pokrovske came after the southern Russian beyond the Dnieper also started advancing in the direction of Krivoy Rog to the northeast. Or to put it differently, after the small force added yet another objective and axis of advance. Having crossed the Dnieper at Kerson the Russian force was trying to keep a close embrace of Nikolayev from the east, establish positions up the Bug river as far to the north as Voznesensk, and threaten the city of Krivoy Rog to the northeast, all at the same time. It turns out that with under 10,000 troops it wasn’t tenable.

The loss of a few settlements to the south of Nikolayev isn’t particularly important. This is a very local setback and one that can be reversed easily when Russians return with a stronger force. In fact, I think it is telling that the biggest Ukrainian “counter-offensive” success so far is taking a few settlements the biggest of which can’t even be called a town.

If anything the Russians would be wise to do more of this refocusing on what actually matters. Shortlist a few really important (and attainable) objectives and cease trying to chase everything at once.

In other news from the southwest, the Russians were seen evacuating (damaged?) helicopters from Kherson airbase where they were hit by Ukrainian rocket artillery:

(Paying the price for being too aggressive with too small a force once more. Forward positioning air assets but without having enough ground forces to reliably prevent enemy rocket trucks from sneaking through your lines to within range.)

And hit Ukrainian paratroopers with cruise missiles in their barracks (compensating for manpower shortage with a firepower escalation?):

Situation on March 12, before the drive in the direction of Krivoy Rog:

  1. SteveK9 says

    OK. Well, the Russians are learning some things. So, it isn’t like Martyanov and Raevsky claim, Russian military is not perfect. People are dying who might have lived. Russia has not fought a conflict even as large as this, since WWII.

    1. Dale says

      What I don’t get is how AE seemingly has an inside track to Russian sources and the likes of The Saker have their heads in the clouds. *sarcasm*

      1. Ulrich von Kafkanien says

        One does not see, if one doesn’t want to see. That is the difference.

    2. ken says

      More like the world is used to the hegemon wars where everything is destroyed and most everyone killed. Shock and Awe they call it where the hegemon bombs a defenseless country into the stone age. Sort of like watching a pretty fireworks show.

      The Russians are running a humane ‘war’ where media is forced to come up with images from past conflicts to satisfy the destroy everything addicts.

  2. SteveK9 says

    Any way to block the ‘I am making $ ### from home’.

    1. ken says

      Probably a login system… And even then I have seen these bots get through… And the geniuses like Martin Armstrong favors a vote by internet – a pure demockracy. Can anyone imagine the bots turning that into a joke… The PTB would absolutely love it! (lol)

  3. Cooky says

    You could argue the Russians should start high intensity and indiscriminate bombing like the USA did in Iraq etc. no need t then to worry about supply lines etc. Really Russia should just tell the ukes it’s time for this lay down your arms or it begins- cause not only USA should get a free pass for this. 2 million dead Iraqi are also wondering why Uke lives matter.

    1. ken says

      Don’t forget Korea and Vietnam… The USA has more than done its part in depopulation.

  4. ken says

    Who knows what is going on. Heck, Maybe Russia could use Anti-Empires assistance in prosecuting the ‘war’.

    So far in this ‘war’, the news has shown fake war pics from Libya, Syria, Iraq, and explosions from China. I’m surprised they haven’t thrown in some good WWII and WWI aerial battle pics. How about some battles on the high seas! Above we are shown a ‘Russian’ vehicle. Since the Russians and Ukrainians have much the same equipment,,, how does one know this vehicle is from Russia?

    Then there was the video of a person traveling around Kiev in search of the ‘war’. Never did find it.

    The way the Western media is describing it I waiting for the announcement that Ukraine has won the ‘war’ and is now working their way towards Moscow.

  5. XSFRGR says

    Russia can lose this war; in fact that may be the plan of some in the upper echelons. Russia started out with a half hearted effort, and isn’t advancing at nearly a fast enough rate to prevent the Ukrainians from conducting a battle of maneuver. Another thing of concern is the number of dead Russian generals; whose killing them?? Are these leaders loyal to Putin or what. General officers should never be exposed on the forward edge of the battle area so what’s with this number of KIA Russian generals. Don’t tell me about snipers because I was one, and getting far enough behind the lines to take out general would be a miracle. There’s something going on here, and it creeps me out. I read that Putin was cleansing the children of Satan from the hierarchy of the government, and we know what happened to Stalin when he tried that. If Russia loses this war a great shroud of darkness will settle over the world, and it will never lift.

    1. guest says
      “General Roman Gavrilov, the deputy chief of Russia’s Federal National Guard, has reportedly been detained by the much-feared FSB security service and accused of leaking information”

      Has anyone in the Ukrainan armed forces taken credit for killing those front-line generals ?
      According to the Russian government only 450 soldiers died so far. And four of them were generals ?! (how many majors and captains and colonels died ?)

      “Russia can lose this war”
      Even if they establish a new border of Ukraine along the Dnieper river, is that a win for Putin or the secret police ? (the people of Russia lost before this war even started)

      1. XSFRGR says

        I’m not completely in the loop regarding FSB operations, but I am in the loop as far as Putin’s intent to cleanse the system of traitors, and the disloyal. I’m certain that the Russia KIA rate has increased since the 450 figure was published, but you bring up a good point on company grade officers being killed. My contacts in Russia are telling me that casualties aren’t unusual with the exception of general officers. As an enlisted sniper I didn’t expressly hunt officers because the only way to detect them was by their actions; they didn’t look any different than the enlisted members; it was the same with U$ officers in ‘Nam. As an officer I learned to avoid doing anything that would draw attention to my rank. I flowed with the troops, never used hand gestures, carried my own radio, etc.

        There’s something going on with Generals; we may never find out what, but something. Many years ago there was a mini-series made about Masada. The Roman Commanding General sent two of his disloyal officers on a recon mission that they wouldn’t survive. The reason was to allow them do die honorably, and not have their death reflect negatively on his command. I wonder if ????

      2. guest says

        >>>”There’s something going on”
        The age-old method of turning unwanted generals into dead heroes.

        The question is, why were these generals unwanted.
        were they opponents of the new world order ?
        were they opponents of Putin ?
        were they Slav nationalists ?
        were they too competend ? (did they object to this very strange method of war in Ukraine ?)

        Putin and his secret police decides who is patriot, who is traitor.
        February 4, 2022.

        “At the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin visited China on 4 February 2022. The Heads of State held talks in Beijing and took part in the opening ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games.”

        Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development

      3. guest says

         Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev, dead
        He was commander of the 8th Army of the Southern District
        In 1943 this 8th Army was commanded by Lt-Gen. Chuykov, and was on the receiving end of the German war-machine; yet Chuykov didn’t die on some front-line command post

        He died when a command post at an airfield in Kherson was destroyed.
        A few days ago Russia claimed that the city of Kherson was taken/libarted !!

        What was a commander of an army (an attacking army) doing on an airfield that was only hours earlier taken, and cannot be considered a suitable/secure place for a command post ?

  6. Kointel Killah says

    See, everyone gets a participation award.

    That’s what I like about militainment.

    You can be on all sides at once.

    That way, you always win.

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