Deficient Vlad Putin. Regardless of his faux “annexation” of 4 Ukrainian oblasts, none beneath Russia’s complete regulate, Ukraine’s army advances have endured unabated. If Russia seemed incompetent and out of its intensity ahead of, the message is now even starker: Putin can’t shield Mom Russia. And if historical past tells us the rest, it’s that protecting the rustic is a Russian chief’s unmarried maximum necessary activity.
And Putin is failing it. I think we’ll see dramatic penalties of this failure.
Giant image, Ukraine notched huge features in September:
Put in a different way, Ukraine retook 10% of the land Russia occupied in one month. And October has began with a bang, with Ukraine clearing out the Russian presence in northern Donetsk oblast (the realm round Lyman), pushing into Luhansk oblast east of Lyman, and now freeing loads of sq. kilometers in northern Kherson.
You’ll atone for our weekend’s dramatic protection for those who’d like, right here, right here, right here, right here, and right here. Let’s take a handy guide a rough take a look at the place issues stand now.
Mark Sumner was once sort sufficient to replace his map in spite of having Mondays off.
The blue zone cities have both geolocated footage confirming their liberation, or there’s consensus amongst Russian and Ukrainian Telegram resources. Yellow zone is the brand new entrance strains as Ukraine pushes down throughout that whole large entrance. The most important penetration is down the financial institution of the Dnipro river to Dudchany, the place battle was once ongoing in a single day.
It’s now not all roses; Russian Telegram had photos and video of artillery-smashed Ukrainian column out of doors Davydiv Brid at the lower-left hand nook of this map. Ukraine will need to pincer the ones two yellow blobs. That will both lure Russian defenders on this nook of the entrance, or power them to desert their keen defensive positions and fall again nearer to Kherson town, leaving at the back of new Russian lend-lease contributions for the Ukrainian military. Ukraine will surely stay advancing on Davydiv Brid till its Russian defenders run out of steam, ammunition, or the desire to battle. Collapsing defensive strains don’t lend themselves to a powerful preventing spirt.
Doing a handy guide a rough and grimy size, Ukraine has liberated round 800 sq. kilometers (about 310 sq. miles) of territory in this entrance in round two days. And this isn’t Kharkiv, the place Ukraine tricked Russia into taking a look in different places, permitting it to punch thru thinly defended strains. That is precisely the place Russia rushed all its defenses, as many as 40,000 troops, in well-prepared defensive emplacements on flat, open land the place a wall of artillery can impede any advances. The truth that Ukraine is after all advancing is an indication that Russian provide strains had been successfully degraded by means of HIMARS and long-range precision-guided artillery. With out functioning bridges, Ukrainian analysts have estimated that Russia can best provide a few quarter of what it wishes by means of barges, helicopter, and thru cautious trip on damaged bridges. Or even that may be precarious paintings:
Mark’s up to date map:
Lyman is backside left of this map. There may be much more blue in this map than only some days in the past.
Russian forces have chaotically retreated to new strains. As I famous the day gone by, there are ugly photos of the aftermath as taking flight Russians have been slammed via artillery on their manner out of Lyman. Don’t move on the lookout for the photographs—I received’t even describe them. I actually had nightmares about them on Saturday evening. And please don’t put up or describe intimately what you noticed within the feedback. There’s little need. Suffice to mention that Russian losses have been prime, and I will’t consider a extra undignified solution to move.
The most important new information in this map is the liberation of Borova within the best left at the map. Town used to have a bridge connecting it with the Izyum facet of the Oskil river. Someday that’ll be repaired. Right here’s the present scenario:
There are experiences that that whole rail line from Kupyansk to Lyman (bring to a halt on the very backside of this map) is now in Ukrainian fingers, however not anything is showed simply but. If now not at this time, it’s going to be true throughout the subsequent 12 to 24 hours. There is not any explanation why for Russians to carry positions alongside the financial institution of the Oskil now that Borova has been liberated and Ukrainian troops are running to the east.
Given the significance of rail strains, clearing the direction from Kupyansk to Lyman is very large. The rail line to Svatove is similarly engaging, as are the mass of roads that every one converge in town. This is the logistical hub for this whole mass of Russian-held territory. The rail line from Kupyansk has already been lower, however they are going to nonetheless have the ability to transfer freight from the south thru Kreminna (but one more reason that the city is seriously necessary for Russia).
As soon as Ukraine liberates Svatove, Russia will wish to abandon the whole lot inside a 25-40 kilometer radius (about 15-30 miles). Starobilsk on the correct fringe of the map above and the correct circle underneath is the general prize, supplying all the northeastern nook of Ukraine. As soon as Ukraine liberates that, all of northern Luhansk is instantly liberated.
Sorry for the outdated map, however I’m seeking to get this up ASAP. You’ll see the logistical significance of Svatove and Starobilsk: Each host a big rail line, and each function hubs for his or her area’s highway networks, radiating out like spokes on a wheel.
Starobilsk has one added significance: As soon as Ukraine liberates it, Russia will not have the ability to provide its warfare effort thru Belgorod to the north of this map. It’s going to must reroute the whole lot to feed their warfare system from the east thru Luhansk oblast and via freight delivery in the course of the Azov Sea port towns of Mariupol and Berdyansk. It’s now not an unimaginable process, however would require an enormous effort to reorient all the ones provide strains whilst making the remainder strains extra prone to Ukrainian sabotage and interdiction.
Taking the ones two towns and the ensuing Russian retreat that will apply that will go back Ukraine any other 13,000 or so sq. kilometers (5,000 sq. miles) of its land, maximum of it carefully populated agricultural steppe. That will be about 12% to fifteen% of the land Russia recently occupies, which can glance nice on maps. Despite the fact that, once more, the true worth this is in chopping all provide routes from Belgorod.
I must name this the “Luhansk entrance,” however actually, the entire motion is in Bakhmut.
That is simply pathetic, despite the fact that a take a look at this map may display why Russia stays obsessive about it:
Once more, take a look at the rail strains. If Russia have been come what may ready to overcome the road from Horlivka to Bakhmut to Siversk, it will have a forged logistical base upon which to push deeper into Ukrainian-held Donbas. So there’s common sense to short of to occupy Bakhmut.
The issue, after all, is that Russia isn’t even just about occupying any a part of that line. And given the cave in of Russian strains in Kherson and up within the Tri-Oblast House, this pipe dream seems even dearer than commonplace.
After all, we’ve already noticed why Russia persists: This a part of the entrance is manned via Wagner mercenaries the use of jail fodder to probe and push ahead. Wagner has been requested to make stronger different portions of the entrance they usually publicly and haughtily refused on their Telegram channel, pronouncing they have been the one Russian power able to advancing anyplace within the nation. In the meantime, Wagner’s CEO has obliquely criticized Putin (at the side of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov) in contemporary days. He has his personal schedule, which would possibly actually be a design at the Russian management, and he’ll do his personal factor.
At the moment, that’s it appears banging his head in opposition to Bakhmut—now not for army causes, however for his personal home machinations.
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This week on The Downballot we take a look at in on Pennsylvania, the place Republican Doug Mastriano has referred to as for “40 days of fasting and prayer” to save lots of his ill marketing campaign for governor; dig into advert spending numbers that display Democrats airing way more spots as a result of they don’t seem to be depending on tremendous PACs; and recap the dispiriting result of Italy’s basic election, which noticed the far-right win for the primary time since Mussolini.
It is Captain Obtrusive for us, however nonetheless a useful visualization:
In the meantime, Wagner assists in keeping smashing their heads in direct attacks in opposition to the well-defended and entrenched Ukrainian garrison at Bakhmut.
A number of Russian Telegram resources record Dudachny has been liberated, in that Kherson push, together with Rybar. Wagner’s Gray Zone Telegram channel says bridge has been blown, however received’t subject a lot.
This implies there aren’t any forces to transport. Russia is contemporary out of troops.
If the ones Russian Telegram resources are proper, Russian gadgets in Kherson haven’t any comms (both they lack the apparatus, or it’s being jammed), in order that they don’t know what different gadgets round them are doing. They’re pulling again to keep away from being left at the back of. There is not any coordination amongst Russian gadgets, so they are able to’t dangle the road.
Additionally signifies that in the event that they pull again to the general defensive strains ahead of Kherson-Beryslav-Nova Kakhovka, they’ll be well concentrated for HIMARS’ shrapnel rounds, as Excalibur and different precision-guided artillery shells take out entrenched armor.