by SIMPLICIUS THE THINKER
Kiev made another major attempt to breach Russia’s forward screening lines. Various frontline correspondents were apoplectic with reports last night that the assault was one of the most brutal defeats of AFU forces of the entire war thus far. Casualty figures are reportedly extremely high as Kiev’s forces were thrown head-first into battle without much heavy armor support, this time apparently counting on their light armor to race across the gray zones.
They utilized some new tactics, like using smoke as well as the aforementioned. Of course, the Ukrainian side claims the push succeeded, as they did manage to capture the small hamlet of Piatykatki just on the outskirts of Lobkove, southwest of Orekhov.
But judging by the new flood of photos and videos it does seem like the reports of ‘monstrous losses’ are in the right ballpark. Most notable was a huge uptick in POW captures, more than any recent day (slight 18+ warning):
In fact, reports claim a total of 300 POWs were captured just yesterday alone, though a different report said 150.
Recently, there has been a mass surrender of militants in captivity in different directions. Not only in the zone of “that same offensive”, where ours captured the marines from the 35th brigade, as well as several dozen soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the Seversky sector, attack aircraft from the Edelweiss brigade decided to increase the chances of survival. Also in the Novobakhmutovka area, 20 militants laid down their arms. The main reasons for the rapid growth of the exchange fund are the use of Nazi methods by the Ukrainian command not only in relation to civilians, but also to their own soldiers. Especially, against the backdrop of huge losses in insane attempts to take the extra 100 meters in the gray zone.
And interestingly, it followed reports, once again, of mass desertions and mutinies, including one that stated that UA troops sabotaged their own Leopard tanks in order to get out of fighting:
💥🐽💥Ukrainian tank crews “cower” from counterattack by faking tank damage to avoid going into battle
The Ukrainian army tankers involved in the offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Zaporizhzhya direction are using various tricks not to participate in the counterattack. They fake tank damage and do not want to engage Russian servicemen.
In a conversation with a German publication, the AFU tankers told about heavy losses of the Leopard tanks provided by Germany.
Here. I recognize the Khokhlovs. Their cunning is starting to show through their stupid bastard obedience to their master.💥🐽💥
No confirmation so take it with a grain of salt, but another report is even wilder:
📞 “… my brother was calling, a tanker on a Leopard. We are trying, he says, to break tanks. Sand is poured into the filter, it is driven backwards into the mine, and so on.
🗣…Muscovites have gone crazy , they only see the leopards – they make fun of what they can. Arta(artillery), hails(Grad), lancets, drones. They only shoot a Leopard . T-62, T-80 are almost not touched . That’s why guys don’t want to ride them. On a leopard – a suicide bomber without options. They say that Muscovites have some kind of stupid money for leopards, they get into fights over who took the leopard. Therefore – well, fuck him, it’s better to break it yourself…”. 🇺🇦🤡🇩🇪
So, apparently Russian soldiers are Leopard-mad for those bonuses and are prioritizing Leopards over anything else, leading to it being very dangerous to be a Leopard crewman.
Another compilation of UA losses from Piatykatki:
Here’s a detailed writeup on how the AFU began to utilize new tactics to try to advance:
Judging by the way the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been advancing in Zaporozhye and in the South-Donetsk direction for the past few days, the tactics of the ground forces of Ukraine have changed significantly.
If in the first days of the Armed Forces of Ukraine they actively created the illusion of a mass offensive with forces of more than a battalion, then at the moment only small platoon groups, up to 30-40 people maximum, are rushing into battle. This is especially noticeable in the battles in the triangle of Pyatikhatki – Stepovoye – Malye Shcherbaki. In this direction, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the biggest losses at the moment.
A significant part of the heavy equipment, including Leopard tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, is assigned to the rear for regrouping, repair and, apparently, drawing up a new attack plan.
Significant losses of senior commanders, capable of daring breakthroughs to the front line, affect morale: among the mobilized Ukrainians, there are more and more refuseniks and “crossbows”, as was already the case in Artyomovsk.
The history of field repair problems is repeating itself: it is almost impossible to quickly fix malfunctions of infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. There are practically no evacuation vehicles (BREM) – serviceable equipment arrives at the place of the damaged equipment, and the whole group is covered by artillery fire from the rear of the Surovikin Line.
Apparently, the Armed Forces of Ukraine received an order to protect foreign armored vehicles, so mobile groups on MaxxPro and Mastiff armored vehicles, unsuitable for frontal attacks, are increasingly being introduced into battle. Due to the imbalance in the use of light equipment, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine over the past 72 hours have increased to 880-930 killed and wounded per day.
Territorial advance is zero. As soon as the Armed Forces of Ukraine occupy certain positions, the entire square is covered with artillery, and at night the positions are worked out by Ka-52 and Mi-28NM helicopters. After that, the Armed Forces of Ukraine roll back to their original positions without the opportunity to gain a foothold.
The report makes mention of some of the losses. Some reports claim upwards of 1000 total casualties, including KIA and wounded, with upwards of 200-300 total vehicles knocked out, of which 50-100 are tanks.
Dmitry Rogozin said this of the losses just from one small front:
ROGOZIN: “So that you understand how fierce and bloody the battle is on the Zaporozhye front, I inform you that in the positions of only one 9th motorized rifle company of the 70th regiment of the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th army, 27 enemy armored objects, including 4 Leopards, are burning out after a night battle. It is difficult to say how many soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who stormed the positions of this company died, or rather, it is difficult to calculate.”
These may be from several days ago, but new videos showed Leopard 2A6 tanks not only being hit (as well as Bradleys) and retreating while on fire, but even a panicked 2A6 ramming into a burning vehicle then setting itself on fire as well. It’s hard to tell whether that was intended, as the Leopard was afraid to go off the mine-ploughed track, or whether the NATO “training” (or lack thereof) is simply not up to par, and the tank crews operating these Western wunderwaffen are barely competent:
Above is a photo of a destroyed 2A6 Leopard whose cannon completely fell off.
The first close-up images of destroyed Bradleys were likewise seen:
Remember the time when these ‘prestige systems’ looked so invincible? U.S. tried to sell them as unstoppable war machines which could even defeat any Russian tank, given that their “superior optics” would allow them to outrange the tanks, and the modern Bradley variants have TOW ATGMs. These things were the heroes of the Gulf War, as they were said to have destroyed more Iraqi armor than even Abrams tanks.
Now look at them. Exposed as the same old pathetic, overhyped junk.
On that note though, and speaking of the Gulf War, we do have the first internal footage showing the 47th brigade utilizing the famed nightvision optics of the Bradleys in one of the battles. Anyone who’s followed Gulf War footage will be familiar with such sights:
Popular analyst Yuri Podolyaka, who was in attendance at the Putin press conference for correspondents, was uncharacteristically histrionic in his report of last night’s assaults after claiming to have received sensitive data of AFU’s losses:
The massacre near Orekhovo – even experienced officers did not see this.
What happened today near Orekhovo was a Slaughter!!!
One gets the impression that the NATO members put the Kiev regime on a very “hard stretch”.
Time is limited (NATO summit July 11-12), goals have been set (victory in the Battle of Azov). The enemy (that is, we) is strong, but this should not become an obstacle to the implementation of the plans of Washington and London.
I received data on enemy losses near Orekhovo (without the right to publish). I think tomorrow or the day after tomorrow there will be new videos of damaged equipment that are terrible for the population of Ukraine. There is a lot of it there – dozens of units.
But the worst thing is not even that. The worst thing is the loss of personnel. The enemy could not even pull out the wounded from there.
And experienced officers (ours) are shocked by what they saw today. They have never seen such a massacre (according to them), and such a disregard for the life of their soldiers (on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine). And they said all this … with respect for the courage of the enemy (soldiers, not command), capable of carrying out such an insane order.
P.S. It is a pity that only today many hundreds of essentially Russian (even Ukrainian) guys paid with their lives for British and American interests.
PP.S. And yes, ours have already restored their positions near Orekhov !!!
Another analyst had the following cogent thoughts:
“Watching the ongoing battle in Zaporozhye, you once again come to the conclusion that the enemy will break down when (primarily society) when losses in personnel reach a critical level. Funerals in every entrance of a multi-storey building, or on every street of a small village, all this at a constant, or better, at an increasing pace. Until this level is reached, the Ukrainian has a lot of cannon fodder, but right now he is moving by leaps and bounds to the point of war we want.”
There’s something interesting to note in that regard. Recently, some Ukrainian pundits have posted ‘satellite photos’ of cemeteries in Russia claiming to show large Russian losses. Banal stuff like this:
But the problem is, the cemetery crisis in Ukraine itself is so bad as to be unspeakable. I’ve reported a while back that people were literally being paid to take out corpses from the morgue and hold them in their homes for a set amount of time, because the morgues are simply overflowed with AFU. Now, there’s been new confirmation of this from two separate angles.
Firstly, read this Ukrainian woman’s note:
She says her grandmother died on June 10th, and the morgue refuses to take the body and properly treat it. Cemeteries deny burials as there are “not enough graves” for soldiers killed at the front, which have the priority on fresh cemetery plots. She’s begging for help and doesn’t know what to do.
Meanwhile, a letter from the Kharkov city council to a director of the Red Cross was leaked online:
The document states that at the moment the hospitals of the Kharkov region are ALREADY working beyond their capacity, however, in the near future, an EVEN BIGGER increase in casualties among the military and civilian population is expected in connection with the offensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The official begs to build a field hospital in Kharkov with the latest equipment and asks to send highly specialized medical specialists, including plastic surgeons.
And in relation to such vast losses, there’s also been a reported new full mobilization announced in the Western regions of Ukraine:
🇺🇦⚡️General mobilization with the mobilization of all vehicles has been announced in the Ivano-Frankivsk region
▪️The military registration and enlistment office issued a decree on the mandatory appearance of all those liable for military service at the city recruitment center within 10 days.
▪️Also announced the mobilization of vehicles and a ban on changing the place of residence without the permission of the military commissar.
▪️All firms, organizations and citizens are instructed to ensure the delivery and transfer of vehicles and equipment on time, in volumes and at the addresses specified in the orders for the supply of equipment during mobilization, the decree published by the media says.
On the heels of this ‘counter-offensive’, another slew of MSM articles have continued conditioning people’s expectations for a soft landing.
🇺🇦🇬🇧 “Prepare for Ukraine’s counter-offensive to falter”, – writes Richard Kemp for the Daily Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/17/prepare-for-kyivs-counter-offensive-to-falter/)
“NATO needs to brace itself for the prospect of Ukraine’s counteroffensive failing to achieve major success. Indeed, so far, Kiev has attained only limited gains. But those who expected a lightning breakthrough were always going to be disappointed. This is not German panzers against Polish horse cavalry, nor is it American shock and awe against demoralised Iraqi forces in antiquated tanks with no air cover”.
The new narrative continually being reworked is that Russian Ka-52s are decimating Ukraine’s armor and that Ukraine’s lack of air cover is unsustainable in light of having any offensive success.
This, of course, is simply going to be pushed into the next agenda of providing the F-16 wunderwaffe as the panacea to buoy sagging Western support for the next arc of the year. Eurocrats and their slavering constituency will simply be reprogrammed into believing that airpower is all that Ukraine lacks in achieving victory.
It will be complemented with the recent announcement that Biden intends to supply ATACMs in an upcoming arms tranche.
But as others have calculated, at $1.5M per missile, the $80M procurement would buy about 50 missiles. Will that be a ‘game changer?’ The U.S. itself reportedly only owns about 500 of the missiles, as ~1,500 or so were ever built in total, and those for many foreign customers. And the U.S. can only build a tiny amount of these per year, likely not even 100 at the most. If anything, the ATACMS would likely be a one-time use mass surprise attack on the Kerch to try to disable it.
Personally, I consider regular HIMARs missiles to be bigger threats because of their saturating factor and much smaller and harder to detect profile. The same thing goes for the Storm Shadow, which continues to cause some problems for Russia, at least if Ukrainian reports are true.
A new alleged Storm Shadow strike on a Kherson railway juncture at Rykove where Russia was said to have stored arms for the Zaporozhye frontline reportedly leveled the entire railway by blowing a mass amount of ammo. This one, unfortunately, is hard to refute. The alleged before and after photos:
The explosion was reportedly so massive it blew apart several of the buildings seen there, adjacent to the railway.
I said previously why Storm Shadow could be a much bigger threat than JDAMs, which require the planes to ‘loft’ to high altitudes and expose themselves to Russian AD. Since the SS has its own propulsion it can be fired from relatively low altitudes without putting Ukrainian jets in harm’s way.
The bigger question is why Russia is having trouble with them—provided that it’s even true that Storm Shadows have been responsible for a string of recent hits. You never know with AFU as they lie in a large amount of cases. One clue is this thread which shows the low radar cross section of the SS missiles:
Seen from the front angle, which is likely where radars would be viewing it, the missile would have very low RCS not to mention low altitude flight which, by virtue of radar horizons, would make it undetectable until it’s fairly close to target.
Of course, Russia still claims to be shooting them down regularly, but some appear to slip through. Ukraine on the other hand claims the following:
The Ukrainian Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, has said of missile: “I can say that of the total number of Storm Shadow launches that have taken place, all 100% have reached the targets determined by the General Staff 100 out of 100, absolutely impeccable.“
But, we can also infer for a fact that Ukraine is only able to pick out certain unprotected areas here and there, so this lets us know that the missiles can only targets where AD coverage is sparse. One of the ways we know that is, at Berdyansk in the same region as this very hit, I recently posted how Russia has setup a huge forward base of attack helicopters that are decimating Ukrainian armor on the Zapo front. We know this airfield is likely well protected by AD. So, if the Storm Shadows were as impeccable as Reznikov claims, Ukraine would have already long obliterated these choppers which are savaging their offensive.
Instead, they focus on small backwater areas where AD is stretched to cover certain logistic points perhaps not deemed super critical for extended coverage. With that said, according to this report they’re planning on changing that:
🇺🇸🇬🇧🇺🇦💥 NATO is preparing a missile attack on our aviation bases with the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The Ukrainian TG channel Resident writes, citing a source in Zelensky’s office, that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with British intelligence MI6, is preparing a series of Storm Shadow missile attacks on military airfields where Russian helicopters are located, effectively destroying the Nazis.
Actually, what was required to prove.
The day before, I wrote that American satellites are monitoring our attack helicopters at the Berdyansk airport and there is no doubt that all available target designations have been transferred to the militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
They are looking for approaches to our air defense, waiting for the most convenient moment for themselves, when most of the Russian aviation equipment will be concentrated in one place.
But, as you can see, the fact that they have to really plan it out and take their time means that they know the Storm Shadows can’t just penetrate the AD there willy-nilly.