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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Ukraine Replace: Ukraine’s advance at Robotyne may sluggish, and that’s an excellent factor

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Ukraine analyst Def Mon on Twitter has an incredible overview of the state of affairs round Robotyne. If that evaluation is correct, anticipate Ukraine’s progress to decelerate once more.

However that’s truly a good factor.

Each RO37 and Mark Sumner have given us nice updates on the state of affairs at Robotyne within the final two days. In brief, Ukraine didn’t simply breach Russia’s first main line of defense on the closely guarded strategy to the strategic metropolis of Tokmak, however they’ve additionally breached the second—and seemingly strongest—of the strains.

What was as soon as a sluggish, plodding advance picked up an excessive amount of steam, surprising observers with its sudden speedy features. But when all goes nicely, issues ought to decelerate for a bit. And that’s not a typo—if issues go nicely.

Right here is Def Mon’s map of the present Robotyne state of affairs.

Let’s undergo his notes from left to proper.

[Russian armed forces] continues to counter assault from the south of Robotyne to have the ability to declare they haven’t misplaced the village

We’ve seen this time and time again, the place Russia would fairly lose troops out within the open in useless makes an attempt to regain misplaced territory than reinforce their defensive positions. That is Russian doctrine, possibly as a result of it was simpler for commanders to sacrifice lives in militarily futile gestures than it was to tell Stalin/Lenin/Putin that they’d misplaced floor.

In any case, we all know Russia has moved reinforcements from each Kherson and Luhansk to attempt to stem the Ukrainian advance. In case anybody was questioning how they’d use these troops, apparently it’s to not reinforce their defensive strains.

As an alternative, they’re again to sending them out within the open to get shredded by Ukrainian artillery, drones, and dug-in Ukrainians. These techniques have definitely managed to decelerate Ukrainian advances, however at a silly value, scaling down their defenses behind these most important strains and making Ukrainian victory in the end extra doubtless. There’s a cause Ukraine took two months to breach the primary line, and solely every week to breach the second line.

It’s in Ukraine’s curiosity to easily sit fairly and let Russia come to them fairly than attempting to ferret them out of their defensive strains.

Right here’s one other surprising issue. “Because the long-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive kicked off throughout southern Ukraine in early June, Russian commanders made an essential adjustment to their defensive doctrine—one which had a right away and profound impact on the Ukrainians’ operations,“ Forbes’ David Axe reported. “The Russians quadrupled the depth of their defensive minefields, from 120 meters to 500 meters—and in addition elevated the density of mines inside the expanded fields … However there’s a draw back for the Russians. In increasing their minefields, they’ve depleted their minelaying sources quicker than they could initially have anticipated. So the minefields are uneven.”

In different phrases, Russia efficiently f’d the Ukrainian advance by layering a mind-boggling variety of mines forward of the primary line of defense. However—and that is key—meaning they don’t have the mines to correctly cowl territory behind that first line. It’s an enormous cause Ukraine was capable of advance so shortly to the second line. Odds are good that the bottom behind that subsequent line has even fewer mines.

That will surely clarify why Russia has fought so arduous to forestall Ukraine from even reaching these most important strains.

Subsequent Def Mon bubble:

[Ukrainian armed forces] took trenches within the woods south of Robotyne

This was lined within the earlier two updates, and remains to be an enormous shock. Russia is now counterattacking not simply Robotyne itself, however is making an attempt to retake their very own defensive trenchline, which is now occupied by Ukraine. Significantly, Ukraine can sit there for months mowing down approaching Russians and it might be time nicely spent.

All of the whereas, Ukraine continues to “form the battlefield” by eliminating the best hazard to Ukrainian forces. It’s not mines, truly—it’s artillery. And Ukraine’s claimed artillery kills this week have been downright gaudy.

img_0647_720.jpg

Final evening, Ukraine claimed to have destroyed 37 artillery weapons and 5 MLRS rocket artillery launchers. That implies that over the previous three days, Ukraine has claimed to have destroyed 111 artillery weapons and 12 MLRS launchers.

The explanation minefields are so lethal is it permits Russia to funnel advancing Ukrainians into “kill zones,” slender lanes the place artillery can simply zero in and wipe out something inside. That forces anybody advancing to rush by way of lest they get caught within the barrage, and that haste typically results in the sorts of errors that get automobiles destroyed and other people killed.

Take out the artillery and Ukraine can advance at leisure, with fight engineers clearing broad lanes with out worry of assault. The Ukrainian spearhead can occupy Russian trenches with out going through relentless barrages. And Ukrainian artillery can function extra freely with out worry of Russian counterbattery hearth. (Although suicide drones are definitely an ongoing problem.)

Shifting on.

[Ukraine is] slowly advancing alongside the windbreaks NE of Novoprokopivka

Have a look at the satellite tv for pc imagery of that space once more:

Everybody is concentrated on the primary defensive strains. But every a type of tree strains has trenches manned by Russian defenders. And regardless of our greatest hopes, these Russians are placing up a fierce protection.

Meaning Ukraine has to advance slowly, tree line to tree line, even when it’s simply two or three Russians holed up with rifles.

[Ukraine] clearing up badly ready RU infantry trenches west of Verbove, and have probably established positions in them

This stays essentially the most thrilling information all week. Ukraine bypassed the anti-vehicle line (the primary yellow line within the map above) and occupied the infantry positions behind it. Meaning Ukraine has the area to methodically clear the minefields forward of that automobile line with out getting focused by infantry, in addition to bridging the anti-vehicle trenches, often by dumping filth and gravel inside them.

Ukrainian infantry can sit in these trenches till these automobile lanes are opened up, after which proceed on their advance as soon as their armor can be part of them.

At that time, they’ll determine whether or not to take Verbove and shield their flank, or start rolling up that Russian line of defense from the rear. Do not forget that it’s on the high of a ridgeline, so whether or not they hit it from the entrance or the again, they’re attacking uphill. However as soon as they take it, it’s all downhill to Tokmak.

All in all, anticipate progress to sluggish. Not as a result of Russia is successful the tactical combat, however as a result of it’s in Ukraine’s curiosity to degrade counterattacking Russian forces, destroy extra Russian artillery items, and shore up that strategy close to Verbove to allow them to encompass that line of defense from the east.


That is wonderful:

The German Gepard anti-aircraft gun was slated for decommissioning when the struggle began. Its rapid-burst gun was thought of out of date within the age of subtle missile air protection techniques. Then drones modified the face of the battlefield, and the Gepard has change into one of the invaluable anti-drone defenses.

Its ammunition hadn’t been manufactured in many years, and Switzerland blocked supply of 12,000 rounds it had manufactured. Nonetheless, in lower than a yr, German arms producer Rheinmetall AG miraculously created a complete new manufacturing line for the ammo. It began delivery this week.

Ukraine will get 40,000 rounds by the top of the yr, which can go a great distance since within the video, you will notice the crew destroy two Iranian-made Shahed drones with only a handful of six-round bursts.

Germany has additionally promised to send dozens more Gepards by the top of the yr. It’s unclear the place these are coming from, however we all know that Jordan was phasing out the system, and each the U.S. and Germany had been seeking to buy them for Ukraine.

Given their efficiency, it might make sense for Germany to renew manufacturing and gross sales of the system. It’s a lifesaver on this drone-infested fashionable battlefield.


You possibly can learn more great Ukraine coverage by each workers and group members here.

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