6 mar 2023 6:59 p.m
Artyomovsk on the Donbass front has now had competition as the focal point where the Ukrainian armed formations are suffering the most casualties: Ukraine has lost several hundred men near Kupyansk on the Kharkov-Svatovo front since last week.
Artyomovsk on the Donbass front has now had competition as the focal point where the Ukrainian armed formations are suffering the most casualties: Ukraine has lost several hundred men near Kupyansk on the Kharkov-Svatovo front since the past week, from February 27 to March 5 of dead and wounded per day. Responsible are artillery and air force, which supported Russia’s land forces there in achieving small but large land gains. At this flashpoint, the mud season seems to be a less serious obstacle for them, Yuri Podoljaka notes. So there are good prospects for further offensives against Kupyansk – as soon as the omnipresent mud has dried up a bit.
Artemovsk, for its part, remains on the agenda: Ukrainian units are leaving more and more city districts – the east and north of the city are largely free of them; in the south they are also in trouble due to advances by the Russian private military company Wagner. De facto, Kiev’s troops have started retreating from Artemovsk – only they cannot carry it out as quickly and without losses as they would like: All paved roads out of the city are now under fire. After a recent Russian push, the road through Khromovo is now within range not only of anti-tank guided missiles, but also of Russian mortars. The Ukrainian military now prefer nighttime escape attempts in small groups to the outright suicide of daytime escape attempts. However, the night-time attempts to break out of the operational pocket around this city are causing heavy losses for Kiev’s troops, according to the military observer, citing increasing reports.
The Russian air force has been using high-precision guided glide bombs of the type UPAB-1500B with an armor-piercing warhead for the first time since last week in the Ukraine war. These weapons, weighing a ton and a half, are now intended to help Russian ground forces, stalled by the mud, advance towards Avdeyevka – a satellite town of Donetsk that the Ukrainian military has spent many years turning into a fortress and from which the surrounding towns, all in front the capital of the Russian People’s Republic of Donetsk itself, shelled with barrel and rocket artillery.
The relative silence on the Zaporozhye sector of the front, interrupted only by sporadic reconnaissance by combat carried out by Russia there, is the proverbial calm before the storm, according to Podoljaka: Kiev is in the process of forming a large shock force there and is concentrating personnel and military equipment to do so it receives from the NATO countries as “military aid”. A Ukrainian offensive is announced there for the spring – and this will help determine the further course of the war.
Yuri Podolyaka is a Ukrainian political blogger (his channel on YouTube had 2.6 million subscribers before it was deleted by the platform’s administration) and journalist from Sumy (he has lived in Sevastopol, Russia since 2014), whose insights in the period from the beginning of the intervention became increasingly popular in the Russian media. His analytical outputs come up with only a few figures – but he gives a good understanding of the spatial extent of the respective developments by working with maps and occasionally offers short-term forecasts.
On the one hand, Podoljaka uses openly accessible data as sources: These are reports from eyewitnesses in the social media as well as reports from the Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries. On the other hand, he cites insider sources: In addition to those in the people’s militias and security organs of the Russian People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, these are those in the Ukrainian security and government authorities, which he claims to still maintain due to old relationships from his time as a Ukrainian journalist. To use the current intelligence jargon, Yuri Podoljaka is primarily an OSINT analyst.
more on the subject – Harald Kujat on Merkel’s “Minsk” deception: “Yes, that is a breach of international law”
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