Ukrainian Offensive Inflicts Staggering Defeat on Russia
A key portion of the front collapses after just 4 days of offensive
As the 3rd day of the Ukrainian offensive in Kharkov closed a number of commentators asserted that the Ukrainian advance of 50 kilometers “did not matter” because it had not reached “operational depths”.
That is to say, it had not yet taken territory that would represent a strategic payoff.
Then on the morning of the 4th day news came in that Ukrainians had taken the part of Kupyansk to the west of Oskil river, after the Russians had abandoned it without a fight.
The importance of Kupyansk lies in its position as a railway hub, and the Ukrainians now had fire control over its railway station, and the ability to frustrate the Russian supply of Izyum further south by rail. — That’s right, the Ukrainians had just reached operational depths.
🤡"Russia is here forever"
On June 18, Alexander Sidyakin, a representative of Putin's "United Russia" party, announced the beginning of issuing Russian passports in #Kupyansk with the words "Russia is here forever".
On September 10, the occupiers fled the city in just 2 days. pic.twitter.com/uRWjwgp3ro
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 10, 2022
That would have been bad enough, but then before noon the news spread that the Russians were hastily evacuating Izyum.
It is difficult to convey what this means.
It means that the Ukrainians have delivered a staggering defeat to the Russians.
In just 4 days the Russians lost a vast area — everything beyond the Oskil river gone. Just like that.
Positions that took months for Russia to capture and expand were gone in an instant. (The whole of March to take the city itself, followed by battles to expand the bridgehead over Seversky Donets to its south.)
Particularly around Izyum, the Russian military had fought bloody close-quarter battles to take and expand positions beyond the Oskil and Seversky Donetsk and was now giving it all back in a rout.
Izyum didn’t hold just this symbolic importance as the place of previous steep fighting that Russian had to pay a considerable price in lives to take. The very reason it was being fought over with tenacity in the first place was its strategic value.
Judging by reports, Russian army retreating from Izyum
to other side of river. In 4 days they lost more territory than liberated in 3 months. pic.twitter.com/Hh5QCpOifK
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) September 10, 2022
Izyum is the gateway to Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, the remaining two large cities in Donetsk oblast in Ukrainian hands. Taking it enveloped these two twin cities from the north and opened up a way to reach them without having to deal with rivers. (An approach from the east via Lyman would have meant having to deal with a river.)
For the Ukrainians to have captured Izyum — and without even having to fight for it directly is massive and impressive. They have staged an operation that at this moment is beyond the capabilities of the Russians, and has been for several months.
The “funny” thing is that as late as yesterday evening, a number of commentators were asserting that the Ukrainian 50-kilometer march on Kupyansk which caused the Russian collapse was folly that was bound to result in the Ukrainians being decimated (or encircled) when the Russians regrouped and counterattacked into Ukrainian spearheads from the flanks.
Some even went so far as to claim that the whole thing was a consciously laid Russian trap from the start.
These folk sure do have massive egg on their face today.
Why I believe that Ukraine's current offensive in the Kharkov region is becoming a costly failure. https://t.co/mwvpvCOCR0
— Big Serge ☦️🇺🇸🇷🇺 (@witte_sergei) September 9, 2022
This latest Ukrainian offensive north of Izyum is their Battle of the Bulge – a desperate lunge with their last combat-capable units that will, in the end, result in little more than the destruction of those units and the substantial weakening of their operational situation. pic.twitter.com/2xm7Gzj4T9
— Armchair Warlord (@ArmchairW) September 10, 2022
An insane amount of RU reinforcements, I believe per-prepared for this situation, are being pumped into Izyum and kupyansk areas. At this rate Russia will have a severe armour, personnel, and artillery advantage before the end of today.
Wagner PMCs have also been brought in.
— ayden (@squatsons) September 9, 2022
And the village idiot:
Two possibilities: Either the Russian armed forces are and have always been completely incompetent — or they’re luring Ukraine’s best forces into a trap. https://t.co/1QTktvolVf
— Gonzalo Lira (@GonzaloLira1968) September 10, 2022
Some of these people will now concede, others will squirm and hide, and the village idiot will keep on digging.
But one can see that even as old delusions are being shattered new coping mechanisms are already being constructed.
The next one will likely be that Russia’s setbacks, defeats, and quagmire are understandable since Russia is fighting not just Ukraine, but the entire world and NATO.
This is a load of shit. Yes, Ukraine has substantial, important, and critical NATO support. But this is not the cause of Russian quagmire and debacles, and Russia is not against the full weight of NATO. Hell, Russia hasn’t even been up against the full weight of Ukraine. By WW1 standards Ukraine hasn’t even mobilized particularly hard yet. The 35-million Ukraine has *fewer* men under arms than did 5-million Serbia in 1914.
The first cause of Moscow’s troubles isn’t what is on the other side, but what Moscow itself has gone to war with.
This is the story of an ant and bull. The story of the ant that went and attacked the bull.
On the one hand you have a state with 35-million people which is fighting a war of national preservation. And the other you have Moscow which has unloaded the entire weight of the war on the 250,000 officers and contract soldiers of the land combat arms. (I’m not talking about how many are deployed but about how many are even eligible.)
How the hell are 250,000 ever supposed to subdue 35 million??
This is like Monaco attacking France.
If the Ukrainian state didn’t disintegrate on impact (it didn’t), or if the surprise opening campaign failed to deny Ukraine access to much of its potential manpower in places like Kharkov, Dnipro, Zaporozhye (it didn’t), then in the long run — as Ukraine bought itself time to stand up more forces — then Russian prospects would deteriorate by the month.
I was talking about this since the second week of the war, but the brilliant minds of the internet Group Therapy Brigade knew better.
One day it will be interesting to chronicle the progression of their copes and goalpost shifting, but today I am going to say only this:
I’m sorry, but you don’t get to hang this one on NATO. It wasn’t NATO who ordered Russian groupings to move into Ukraine without notice, diffused over six different axes, and only after shedding (!) a third of their manpower (their serving conscripts).
Instead of decreeing that his march on Kiev warranted adding even more conscripts (by freezing the discharges of serving conscripts even as new ones were recruited), he banished even those already in service from going along with their units.
The psychological operation against the Ukrainian state that was the “Special Military Operation” had failed within the first 3 days. It was at this time when a difficult decision (one way or the other) had to be made. Instead, the Bubble Boy decided to keep kicking the can down the road and six months later we are where we are.
Putin’s ‘great’ news: the war can continue to be fought with one arm only
Launching a halfway war has already proven a mistake. Reassuring the nation that the war can continue to victory as a halfway effort without greater Russian mobilization and sacrifices could prove to be another.
A different leader might have opted to tell the nation this was a critical moment for the war and that an all-national push was needed to end this quickly. Putin has chosen the opposite.
The town of Balakliya, Kharkiv region, is liberated by Ukrainian troops!
The Commander of Ukrainian Land Forces, Hero of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi is leading the Ukrainian offensive in this sector.
The Ukrainian flag has been raised in the town centre. pic.twitter.com/zQ8ngDitZw
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) September 10, 2022
Russia's MoD airs its business-as-usual, "all according to plan" daily presser, talking about Ukraine losses and intercepted (5!) HIMARs, with not a word on RU territorial losses and retreats. This in turn results in open anger in militant/mercenary/war correspondent channels pic.twitter.com/JaqVPe3VxJ
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) September 10, 2022
Russian MOD pic.twitter.com/UPq76lgg1E
— lt col temmuz (@temmuz1919) September 10, 2022
Now even the north is in doubt:
Latest Rybar map – absolutely stunning Ukrainian territorial gains in last 72 hours. It almost seems like the Russians are withdrawing from the Kharkiv front entirely. pic.twitter.com/wtyYrVBBvf
— Calvin (@calvinfroedge) September 10, 2022
#UPDATE: I can't believe what I am seeing. The russian miliary is actually leaving Volchansk to: "save the lives of the population, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation decided to leave our city" – Deputy says https://t.co/MNQt5CcMM0 pic.twitter.com/l8m1CJjiwq
— Faytuks News Δ (@Faytuks) September 10, 2022