I don’t believe anyone, who has paid attention, hasn’t noticed how Russia under Putin has become quite kindred to Germany under Hitler. In fact, there may actually be more Nazis in Russia now than there ever were in Germany.
Ukraine’s recent breakthrough of Russia’s First Line of Defense, in and around Robotyne, is starting to provide a lot of Geolocated footage & other Open Source evidence of how Ukraine’s Counteroffensive is going, and how Russia’s defense seems to be struggling against it.
Geolocated footage published on August 25 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced 1.5km southward northeast of Novoprokopivka (13km south of Orikhiv). US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley stated on August 25 that Ukrainian forces are currently attacking through the main set of Russian defensive preparations along the axis of Ukrainian advance. Reuters reported on August 26 that a Ukrainian commander fighting in southern Ukraine stated that Ukrainian forces believe they have broken through the most difficult line of Russian defenses in the area and will now be able to advance more quickly. The Ukrainian commander reportedly stated that Ukrainian forces have entered areas where they encountered only Russian “logistics groups” and that he expects that further Ukrainian breakthroughs in these areas will be easier. A Russian milblogger claimed on August 25 that Ukrainian forces were attacking in the direction of rear defensive lines near Verbove (18km southwest of Orikhiv), suggesting that Ukrainian forces may be near tactical rear areas within the series of Russian defensive positions that they are currently penetrating – though these reports should not be misinterpreted to indicate Ukrainian forces have entered Russian rear areas at the operational level.
From what I understand, this First Line or “main set of Russian defensive preparations” is loaded with “dense layers of minefields” which would slow the Ukrainian attack down, then the Russian artillery would open up on them followed by Russian troops driving the Ukrainians back. Now, Russia’s Second Line of Defense is up, and hopefully the minefields are much less dense and “less heavily mined to give Russian forces operating north of these positions the ability to retreat.” Basically, you don’t want to prepare a defensive position that leaves your own troops between an advancing army in front and dense heavily mined minefields behind them.
Originally, Russia had planned on their 2/24/2022 reinvasion of Ukraine to only last a few days or so before Ukraine surrendered to them. Then after Russia’s Winter of 2022/2023 Offensive also failed, the Russians were forced to move from an offensive strategy to a defensive position. They prepared some serious defensive positions, but the front line in this war is now “1,500-kilometer (930-mile)” long. How many mines did Russia have? Enough to lay Two Defensive Lines of dense heavily mined minefields along a front line of 930-miles or so?
Each of these Russian “lines” are layered defensive positions with their own forward and rear area positions, and it is important to differentiate between the rear areas of individual Russian defensive positions and of Russian defenses in southern Ukraine as a whole. Russian defensive “lines” are additionally notional in the sense that Russian prepared positions are not uniform across the front in southern Ukraine, and are not fully manned. There are additional series of prepared Russian defensive positions further south of the current Ukrainian advance, although Russian forces will only be able to fully leverage these positions if they have the available personnel and materiel to incorporate them into cohesive defensive operations.
A Ukrainian source indicated that Russian forces have laterally redeployed elements of a relatively elite formation from the Kreminna area in Luhansk Oblast to the Robotyne area in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive tactic of ‘Starve, Stretch and Strike’ is working—slowly since such a tactic isn’t meant for a fast solution; however, in less than three-months the Russian defense is already showing signs of breaking.
Lateral transfers of forces from one part of an active line to another are undesirable. They can disrupt offensive or defensive operations in the sectors from which they are drawn and put great pressure on soldiers who must withdraw from combat in one area, move rapidly to another, and immediately launch into new fighting without time to rest men and repair or replace equipment. The fact that the Russian command has generated reinforcements for threatened sectors in this fashion rather than by sending uncommitted reserves, together with the widespread complaints about the lack of rotations of frontline units, strongly suggests that the Russians simply do not have uncommitted operational or strategic reserves.
Russia simply does not have enough well trained troops—after tens of thousands have been killed, and many many more wounded. They even lack enough recently trained troops to even provided a reliable reserve force.
“Rusich” Neo-Nazis & Yan Petrovsky
The Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group (DShRG) “Rusich” is a Russian far-right and neo-Nazi paramilitary unit that has been fighting against Ukrainian forces in the Russo-Ukrainian War. Its co-founder and leader is Alexey Milchakov and operates within the Wagner Group. “Rusich” fought on the side of pro-Russian military in the Donbas war from June 2014 to July 2015, and in the Russian invasion of Ukraine alongside Russian troops.
Putin recently had Wagner’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin murdered, and Yan Petrovsky is about to be handed over to the Ukrainians – \o/ ‘Hippity hip Hoorah‘ \o/ – sorry, but I couldn’t resist. 🙂
BTW, after Putin’s reinvasion of Ukraine, Finland decided that it would be best if they joined NATO.
So it looks like Neo-Nazi Yan Petrovsky is headed to Ukraine soon.
The Rusich Group accused the Russian government of not meeting its obligations to protect Russians abroad by not securing Petrovsky’s release earlier, and asked why Rusich personnel should protect Russia if the Russian government will not protect Russians. The Rusich Group indicated that it is likely operating on the Robotyne-Verbove line in western Zaporizhia Oblast, a critical area of the frontline where the Russian military command likely cannot afford for any units to rebel and refuse to conduct combat missions. The Russian MoD has notably previously struggled with insubordination and threats of desertion from other Russian units in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
This is not how a military should be run…simple as that. Yes, the Russian Military is a MESS from top to bottom. Putin foolishly exposed just how weak the entire Russian military is when he reinvaded Ukraine – to achieve “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. Now, Russia is forced to use ancient “Mammoth’s Crap” T-54 Tanks, and some of their Neo-Nazi units are threatening to withdraw.
Some might call that Karma…🙂
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is reportedly prosecuting the junior officers and soldiers of a Russian unit that complained about senior commanders’ inattention to frontline issues, following a MoD pattern of deflecting blame away from senior officers. Russian milbloggers claimed on August 26 that an assistant to an unspecified Russian deputy defense minister arrived in Kherson Oblast to investigate complaints associated with the 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade (49th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District) that sparked outrage within the Russian information space on August 25. These milbloggers claimed that the Russian MoD official is protecting the 205th Brigade’s commander and punishing protesting company commanders. These Russian milbloggers expressed continued anger at this deflection of responsibility and at the broader Russian officer system that does not allow for officers with new command styles. These claims are unconfirmed, but the speed at which the Russian military command is reportedly responding likely demonstrates their deep concern about insubordination in the military, as well as of public criticism of the Russian military command. The Russian MoD has previously shown a propensity for deflecting blame away from senior officers and holding lower-level soldiers responsible for problems. The Russian military has recently suffered from multiple public instances of insubordination, and ISW has previously assessed that the Russian military chain of command is deteriorating.
Enough said…so to speak.