Posted by Curt on 21 October, 2022 at 3:16 pm. 1 comment.


thread via Will Schryver

Ukraine War Update🧵
All sorts of intrigue on the war front the past two weeks. Hard to get a confident handle on what is brewing.
There was a major AFU buildup in the Kherson region, and some probing attacks that have been defeated with relative ease and high AFU losses.
In recent hours there are reports that some Ukrainian troops that were in the south have now been moved to the north, in the area where the September AFU offensive has long-since bogged down after suffering huge losses near Kupyansk and Liman.
It seems unlikely, but it could be the Kherson action was a feint. Or possibly it has simply encountered so much resistance that the AFU command has decided to look elsewhere for some success. So now they’re hoping to reprise their September success in the Kharkov region.
There is also the ongoing methodical assault on Bakhmut by the Wagner PMCs and other Russian forces. Bakhmut is strategically significant. It could be the AFU desires to reinforce their groupings there in order to prevent the city being encircled.
Of course, the big mystery is what exactly is going on in Belarus. By all indications, there has been a substantial buildup of both Belarusian and Russian forces in the border regions – lots of tanks, APCs, etc., and apparently a significant buildup of missile and air assets.
In my estimation, the two most strategically significant objectives for the Russians are:
1) retaining and expanding their current position on the west side of the Dnipro near Kherson; driving AFU forces out of Zaporozhzhia and Nikolaev, and ultimately moving against Odessa.
2) and, imo, most importantly, moving once and for all to significantly degrade the AFU supply lines from Poland.
If I were in General Surovikin’s shoes, I would regard the objective of cutting the supply lines from Poland as PRIORITY #1.
IMO, based on recent developments, the strength of the AFU is significantly degraded. Their September “counter-offensives” near Kherson and Kharkov have exacted a HUGE cost in men and materiel. I believe their offensive potential is effectively spent.
That said, there is intense political pressure for them to demonstrate some sort of “progress” in order to keep the supply of western arms and money flowing. Therefore they will try hard to find somewhere they can once again exchange troops and equipment for real estate.
Perhaps that will still be in the Kherson region. If so, we should see it no later than this weekend. Although I think it would be a PR disaster for them, there is some indication the Russians are willing to engage in a fighting retreat from the west bank of the Dnipro.
Personally, I will be VERY surprised if the AFU can drive Russian forces from Kherson. They have had plenty of time to prepare against the eventuality of a major Ukrainian move in that region. Yes, they’re still significantly outnumbered, but that shouldn’t matter.
On the other hand, the surest sign we can receive that the Russians are finally ready to get serious about this war will be a bold “big arrow” move into western Ukraine from Belarus, cutting the important rail lines, and finally severing the NATO lifeline to Ukraine.


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