Everyone seems to be ready for Ukraine’s spring summer time counteroffensive to start, however none extra so than the Russians, who’re so jumpy that they claimed a small probing motion in Zaporizhzhia oblast was the start (and finish) of the anticipated Ukrainian motion. Let’s check out the place issues stand.
To begin with, Ukraine is telling individuals to … shush.
We’ll distinction that quiet confidence with shit-show that’s Russia in a second, however first a phrase about what silence means in operational safety (OpSec).
It doesn’t imply that individuals don’t repost video clips, or geolocate them.
If Russia posts a video, they know that 1) no matter is depicted came about, and a couple of) the place it came about.
If Ukraine posts a video, it’s okay with that video being launched. The troopers and airmen with entry to these movies know what the OpSec guidelines are. And as you’ll usually see, in the event that they don’t need the video geolocated, they may blur any background figuring out options. They’re fairly conscious of the sport.
You will notice individuals complain on Twitter, Telegram, or proper right here at Day by day Kos when such movies are posted, misunderstanding the scenario. Ukraine doesn’t need the locals posting movies of their troop actions, or just about any battlefield data that would endanger the troops. But when it’s on Twitter, the place most of us see these things, it’s already been seen by tens of millions on Telegram, the place the Russians truly hang around.
Getting again to Ukraine’s quiet confidence, let’s distinction that with the chaos of the Russian aspect. There was a lot chaos this weekend.
Wagner Group mercenaries truly received in a firefight with a Russian military unit, captured its commander, a lieutenant colonel, broke his nostril in indicators of torture, then filmed him admitting to concentrating on Wagner out of “private animosity.”
Wagner CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin have to be feeling fairly untouchable to not simply kidnap and beat a Russian military officer, however to put up it on-line. You will get extra on the Wagner-Russian Ministry of Protection feud in this thread by a Ukrainian intelligence officer. As a number of individuals joked at present (so not my joke), we could also be attending to a spot the place Russia isn’t even the second greatest Military in Ukraine!
Equally, Wagner’s feud with pro-Moscow Chechen Kadyrovites is escalating, with a not-so-veiled menace posted on Wagner Telegram accounts. The meme includes a image of bombed out Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, with the caption: “Grozny, Chechnya 2000. We are able to repeat.”
In the meantime, pro-Ukrainian Russian forces and a few Polish overseas legionaries have truly occupied a few border settlement on the Russian aspect of the border in Belgorod. No, they’re not marching on Moscow, and so they may’ve retreated again to Ukraine by the point you learn this, however they’re definitely making Russian dictator Vladimir Putin look impotent. Russia should both peels troops away from the Ukrainian entrance strains to cease these border excursions, or the Russian authorities retains wanting the idiot as these marauders romp via the Russian countryside, enjoying whack-a-mole up and down that lengthy border. This time, they even grabbed a few Russian POWs.
Kadyrovite chief Ramzan Kadyrov, recent off promising to ship troops to Bakhmut that by no means arrived, is now providing to safe Russia’s northern border.
To be clear, Kadyrov doesn’t have 70,000 troops. Most estimates are round 10-12,000, of which solely round 10% ever deployed to Ukraine. (When deployed, they principally posted TikTok movies of themselves taking pictures at visitors lights and random empty buildings.) They definitely aren’t Spetsnaz—Russian particular forces. Russia solely has 17,000 of these, minus no matter they’ve misplaced in Ukraine.
If Kadyrov had 70,000 Spetsnaz, he’d be capable of declare independence and there’d be nothing Moscow might do about it. Largely probably, he noticed Prigozhin’s provide to safe the Belgorod border, and he determined he couldn’t be upstaged by his fierce nemesis.
I want they’d simply settle all of it on the battlefield—it might be the last word expression of Russian poisonous masculinity.
Russia claimed the Ukrainian counteroffensive began today in southern Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia oblast, and so they crushed it! It’s over!
On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in 5 sectors of the entrance within the South Donetsk course by introducing into battle 23 and 31 mechanized brigades from the strategic reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the help of different navy models and subunits.
In whole, six mechanized and two tank battalions of the enemy have been concerned […]
On account of the skillful and competent actions of the Japanese Group of Forces, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to greater than 250 personnel, 16 tanks, three infantry preventing autos, 21 armored preventing autos.
Truly, one thing is taking place. Russia even launched blurry video of what appears to be 9-10 stalled armored autos, together with a number of on fireplace. It definitely doesn’t present 37 autos on fireplace. The video was geolocated within the course of Mariupol, 1.2 kms contained in the final assumed entrance strains. simply west of Velika Novosilka. Ukraine released its own video claiming to point out Ukrainian tanks destroying a Russian one. However actually, I can’t inform what’s occurring in that video.
Nonetheless, Russian Telegram sources admit that Ukraine did handle to liberate settlements in that space, each at Novodarivka, and even perhaps at Neskuchne:
For context, right here is the place we’re on the map, pulled again:
A Russian commander of the pro-Russian Donetsk militia, Alexander Khodakovsky, claims Ukraine took territory, took losses (because the video linked above would recommend), and—importantly—that this isn’t truly the large counteroffensive.
On the Velikonovoselkovsky course, the enemy is attempting to interrupt via. Having grouped his shock fist, within the first half of the day he was capable of obtain tactical success – he took one place from us, however suffered tangible losses. Now the enemy is increase his presence within the breakthrough sector – clearly, he’s striving to extend his achievements.
Neither motion within the north within the course of Novaya Tavolzhanka, nor motion within the south is in itself the promised counter-offensive, however within the occasion of a breakthrough, extra important forces may very well be transferred to the positioning.
This might ge just like the localized counteroffensive in Bakhmut’s flanks—territory regained on the initiative of native commanders. Or this may very well be probing actions, testing out Russia’s defenses and looking for weak spots alongside the strains. Or it may very well be a diversion, the way in which Ukraine signaled a Kherson offensive final September, when the true goal was Kharkiv’s liberation.
Which is it? Nobody is aware of exterior a small group of individuals in Ukraine. All we are able to do is wait. Personally, I received’t consider the counteroffensive has began till we see Leopard fundamental battle tanks on the prowl.