Ofensiva ucraineană în Kherson. Ziua 7 – 4.09.2022

Deoarece partea ucraineană a impus un embargou strict asupra informațiilor despre ofensiva în Kherson (acestea fiind considerate secret de stat) iar comunicatele liderilor de la Kiev sunt cu totul generice, a rămas să caut informații în izvoarele ruse și se paratiste (comunicate oficiale și relatări ale milblogerilor ruși). Acestea sunt, evident, partizane de aceea avertizez că informațiile din aceste surse trebuiesc a fi privite cu oarecare rezervă.

Comunicatul Ministerului Apărării al Federației Ruse

💥 În ziua ostilităților în această direcție (Mykolaiv-Krivoy Ruh), inamicul a pierdut 11 tancuri, 17 vehicule de luptă de infanterie, inclusiv patru vehicule de luptă de infanterie Bradley fabricate în SUA, alte 10 vehicule de luptă blindate, 5 camionete cu mitraliere grele și peste 150 de militari. .
💥 În zona satului Romanovka, regiunea Mykolaiv, avioane de vânătoare ale Forțelor Aerospațiale Ruse au doborât un avion de atac Su-25 al Forțelor Aeriene Ucrainene.
◽️ Trei rachete antiradar HARM fabricate în SUA au fost interceptate în zona așezării Novaya Kakhovka, regiunea Herson, precum și șapte obuze de sisteme de lansare multiplă de rachete în zona hidroelectricului Kakhovskaya. centrală electrică, inclusiv patru – „HIMARS” și trei – „Arin”.

Expertul militar Boris Rozhin pentru canalul @voenkorKotenok

1. În zona Aleksandrovka, ofensiva Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei a fost oprită în urmă cu câteva zile. Luptele se desfășoară într-o manieră pozițională.
2. În zona Posad-Pokrovsky, luptele au căpătat un caracter pozițional după încercările reciproce ale părților de a avansa și de a contraataca.
3. În zona Blagodatnoe, frontul este stabil, încercările Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei de a recâștiga controlul asupra satului nu au avut succes.
4. În zona Snegirevka - fără modificări semnificative. 
5. În zona capului de pod Andreevsky, inamicul continuă să încerce să extindă capul de pod și să țină, în ciuda înfrângerii prin foc a Forțelor Armate RF în zona Sukhoi Stavka și Kostromka. Refacerea a cel puțin unei treceri distruse a fost folosită de Forțele Armate ale Ucrainei pentru a transfera o parte din rezerve.
6. În regiunea Vysokopolye, inamicul a reușit să obțină succes tactic, forțând forțele noastre să se retragă din sat sub amenințarea încercuirii. Luptele se duc la periferia sudica. Atacurile în direcția Petrovka din partea Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei nu au avut succes. Luptele de stradă au continuat în Arhangelsk.
7. Inamicul a continuat să bombardeze împrejurimile Hersonului, Noului Kahovka și podurilor peste Nipru. Forțele armate ale Federației Ruse au lansat lovituri asupra Nikolaev, precum și în direcția Krivoy Rog
8. Din 4 septembrie, criza operațională din sectorul Krivoy Rog nu a fost încă rezolvată. Forțele armate ale Ucrainei continuă să încerce să realizeze ceva mai substanțial pentru a recupera pierderile deja suferite în oameni și echipamente.

Analiză Defensionem

The Kherson Offensive

The Ukrainian side deployed around 20,000 men facing the Kherson Oblast around June time. There were skirmishes and local ops, including a thrust that enabled Ukrainian troops to force a crossing of the Ingulets River and establish a bridgehead at Davidyv Brid. Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, they did not follow through and the bridgehead was slowly reduced over the following weeks. Further south, Ukrainian troops crept closer to Kherson City.

On the 26th of July, the Russians reported the arrival of additional Ukrainian troops and hardware west of the Dnieper River, in anticipation of a Ukrainian offensive. This was followed by small Russian operations in the South that rolled back some of the previous Ukrainian gains between Nikolayev and Kherson. As the pendulum swung the other way around, Ukrainian troops were pushed back away from Kherson City and Russian troops came closer to Nikolayev, going as far as Bahodatne.

Throughout August, Ukrainian forces proceeded to hit the Antonovsky Bridge in Kherson (See above), the bridge near the Nova Khakovka hydroelectric plant and the Daryevsky Bridge over the Ingulets River in order to impede Russian logistics west of the Dnieper: 20,000 Russian troops were estimated to be positioned there prior to the Kherson offensive.

There were also several Ukrainian operations behind Russian lines, including in Crimea and Russia proper.

On the 9th of August, a Ukrainian attack on the Saki Airbase in Crimea destroyed or damaged at least 13 Russian aircraft. Saki is home to the 43rd Russian Independent Naval Attack Aviation Regiment (43 OMShAP) which flies Su-24 and Su-30. It seems an initial explosion/fire subsequently spread to bombs and other ammunition that were stored pretty carelessly near the planes. At least 4 large detonations were heard/observed, with a dozen detonations heard in total. The cause of this incident is disputed. Some think this is the work of Ukrainian special forces/saboteurs operating behind enemy lines. Others think this is the work of drones. Nevertheless. While 13 planes represent a small percentage of the platforms Russia can deploy, it still represents a big dent in the capabilities of the Naval Aviation of the Black Sea Fleet.

A fire erupted at a Russian ammo depot in Maiskoye in Crimea on the 16th of August. Damage was also done on nearby power lines and railways. The Russian authorities called it an act of sabotage. Finally, a giant fire occurred at a Russian ammo dump in Russia (Belgorod region) on the 18th of August.

The HQ of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was also attacked by Ukrainian drones and drone incursions over Crimea are now an almost daily occurrence.

Meanwhile, Russian reinforcements were streaming toward Kherson, in anticipation of the long awaited Ukrainian counter-attack in that area. The amount of troops and hardware sent by Russia toward Kherson (est. 30 BTGs) made some Ukrainian officials think that Russia could be preparing an offensive toward Nikolayev of Krivyi Rih, rather than just passively defend in the face of a potential Ukrainian offensive.

On the 29th of August, Ukraine launched its Kherson offensive In the south, along the Nikolayev-Kryvyi Rih line. Ukrainian forces pushed hard between Kherson city and Nikolayev and actually pushed Russian troops back in several places, including Kyselivka but there was no breakthrough.

Further north, Ukrainian troops advancing South from Krivyi Rih took Vysokopillya. The main Ukrainian success seems to have been a crossing at the Ingulets opposite Davidyv Brid (again!). From there, they have expanded their bridgehead towards Sukhyi Stavok and Andreevka to a depth of 6km to 10km (depending on sources). This could have been a Ukrainian breakthrough but the Ukrainian forces did not have the resources necessary to push on. It seems the Russians are slowly containing the bridgehead and some sources are even talking about a potential encirclement of the Ukrainian bridgehead into a pocket. Take this with a pinch of salt as the situation is still ongoing and is therefore fluid.

Early assessments of the Kherson (summer) offensive seem to vindicate our contributor/admin Mel Daniels who has long said Ukraine lacks the capabilities to coordinate ops above battalion level. The offensive is ambitious in scope and a considerable number of troops (including reserves from Odessa) and hardware seem to have been dedicated to this operation. Nevertheless, it seems the Ukrainians have incurred some serious losses in the past week for what amounts to very little territorial gains, all things said and done. The offensive is by no means over, but it already feels like there won’t be any major breakthrough (unless things go very wrong very quickly for the Russians) and the tempo of operations is already slowing down. After months worth of hype, everybody was waiting/expecting/willing to see a Ukrainian Blitzkrieg in the South of the country toward Kherson. However, considering the previous losses in Ukrainian manpower (and skills associated/pre-war training) as well as hardware losses, it would have been surprising to see Ukraine being able to develop and coordinate such large scale operations. As such, the vast theatre-wide armoured offensive and breakthrough Western pundits often dream about on Twitter is unlikely to materialise. What we are seeing now IS the Kherson offensive.

Ukrainian artillery has supported Ukrainian troops with an increased and sustained rate of fire along the Nikolayev-Krivyi Rih frontline and one believes they won’t be able to keep this up for much longer. Without artillery support, Ukrainian troops will eventually see their progress slow down and eventually stop. The offensive is in its first week. We might see Kiev push on for another 7 to 10 days after which we expect their offensive to start running out of steam. The Ukrainian leadership possibly knew this and that is maybe why they waited until the end of summer before launching this offensive: A big push limited in time before Autumn’s rain and mud freeze the frontline in place. The narrative from Kiev is already slowly changing. The offensive is now an operation destined to “grind” Russian troops and inflict “attrition” on them while degrading their capabilities. The fact that it is the side with the smallest reserve in manpower that is trying to play the attrition game is puzzling, to say the least.

Saying that, the Russian side is probably unable to develop large scale offensives as well: The Russian military supplies reinforcements in men and hardware to its units in Ukraine through an ad-hoc system which had to be adopted in the absence of a declaration of war (therefore no mobilisation). Those reinforcements provide the Russian military in Ukraine with only just the capability to hold on to the vast frontline, replenish losses and advance locally. When they do so, the Russians only progress thanks to their local superiority in air power and artillery. No large scale offensive/armoured thrust is to be expected on that side either!

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