RBM(FB): Ukraine summary of events since the 17th of July

While the frontlines haven’t moved much overall over the past month and a half, the situation on the ground has been dynamic and kinetic.

  • Shelling and strikes.
  • Multiple Russian missile strikes on Odessa, Nikolayev, Kirovgrad, Krivyi Rih, Bakhmutovskoye, Kharkiv, Kiev, Chuhuiv and Lviv.
  • Russian shelling on Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, Zaporizhzhia, Konstantinovka, Toretsk, Avdiivka, and Berestovoye in particular and all along the line of contact in general.
  • Ukrainian shelling of Nova Kakhovka, Chornobaivka, Kherson, Gorlovka, Energodar and Donetsk in particular. Ukrainian artillery also active north of Kharkiv city, in support of their Izyum offensive and along the Nikolayev-Kryvi Rih line (in support of the Kherson offensive).
  • Ukrainian strikes on Novotroitske, Nyzhni Serohozy, Velyka Lhahoveschenka, Chaplynka Gorlovka, and Chkalov.

“Shaping the Battlefield” or “crawling” depending on which side one speaks about: All throughout August, both sides developed a lot of small scale operations along the whole frontline. When the Ukrainian side does this, it is called “Shaping the Battlefield”. However, when the Russian side does this, it is often called “struggling to advance” or “crawling”. At least, this is what we have learned from Twitter experts and the vast majority of the Western Press.

All sarcasm aside, both sides have indeed jockeyed for better positions on the battlefield: Reconnaissance, probing of enemy lines, bringing up ammunition, manpower and hardware near jump-off points. Small offensives and incremental advances were witnessed from both sides. The Ukrainians have done so ahead of their “Kherson Offensive” (more on this later on) and the Russians have done so moving toward the Seversk-Soledar-Bakhmut line in Donbass. Interestingly, the Russian armed forces in Ukraine switched the centre of gravity of their Donbass offensive from Seversk to Bakhmut.

By the 26th of July, Russia was holding a frontline 1100km long, from Kharkiv to Kherson, with less than 200,000 troops, showing how stretched the Russian military is in Ukraine. 1000Km is the distance between Berlin and London. Things have changed little since. This war is played out on a gigantic scale, not seen in Europe since WWII.

Donbass

Russian and separatist forces advanced toward Soledar on the 22nd of July with several Ukrainian settlements falling in short order. By the 9th of August, Russians and allies were in control of the town’s industrial area. The Russians manoeuvred and advanced North and South of Bakhmut. Fighting was reported inside Seversk. Wagner troops took Pokrovske on the outskirts of Bakhmut while Russian forces took the Vuhlehirska power station in Svitlodarsk. By the 1st of August, the Russians were 3km from the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut. By the 3rd of August, fighting was taking place inside of Peski, which had been on the receiving end of several thousands Russian artillery shells daily for almost a week. Peski was finally taken by Russian forces on the 13th of August. By the 19th of August, Russian forces were advancing toward Pervomaiskoye, threatening the flank of the Ukrainian strongpoint of Avdiivka. By end of August, Russian troops had advanced into the centre of Maryinka while fighting was still taking place on the Eastern suburbs of Bakhmut.

To sum it up, both the Ukrainian and Russian sides have shortcomings, mainly a shortage of manpower. The Russians because they haven’t mobilised and the Ukrainians because while they have the numbers on paper, in reality, they do not have the kits to properly equip their men and the time to properly train them. Therefore, both sides rely on force multipliers: Ukraine leans on fortifications and Russia leans on artillery. The Ukrainian side has fortified the whole Donbass to heights not seen since WWI. We are talking multiple lines of trenches, bunkers and dugouts defending in depth; with Ukrainian defensive lines anchored by fortified settlements and towns. Russia cannot hope to quickly penetrate through such a defensive network. Instead, Russians and separatists rely on Russian-style Reconnaissance in Force and Reconnaissance Strike Complex (разведивательно-ударный комплех-RYK). They probe the line, often launching localised reconnaissance in force in order to assess Ukrainian positions and strength. They are helped by other means of intel gathering such as drones and EW (radio-location and so on). Upon contact and/ or location, Russian artillery gets involved. We see pinpoint Krasnopol strikes on isolated elements and massive barrage on Ukrainian lines/concentrations. The Russians only progress forward when the Ukrainian lines have been devastated. We are talking about weight of artillery not seen since WWII. Russian artillery in Ukraine now fires an average of 25,000 shells per day. The war has seen Russian artillery fire 10,000 rounds per day on quiet days, with peaks of 60,000 rounds per day. This average shows that Russia currently fires greater weight of shells in Ukraine than the Red Army did against the invading Germans in 1941! Russia currently has an estimated 3,000 artillery systems deployed along the Ukrainian front.

Russia started the war with estimated reserves of up to 15 million shells. The Russian defence industry is estimated to be able to produce 1.5 million shells a year. However, this output cannot compete with current expenditures: Russia goes through roughly 1 million shells a month (40,000 tons of weight). This means that at current expenditure and manufacturing output rates, Russia has less than 2 years worth of ammunition left for its artillery.

Kharkiv area of operations

Ukraine launched an offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast in May 2022. The aim was to release pressure on Kharkiv city which was flanked on three sides by Russian forces, placing the whole city within range of Russian artillery. Another aim was to push toward Izyum so as to relieve pressure around the Sloviansk and Kramatorsk area. The ops in Izyum were not successful, but the Ukrainians met with success in and around Kharkiv, forcing the Russians to retreat toward the Russian border. However, the Ukrainians ran out of steam toward June. By the 30th of July, Russian troops were making incremental gains north of Kharkiv, rolling back some of the earlier Ukrainian gains. It is worth noting that the Ukrainians launched an assault toward Gusarovka (near Izyum) toward mid-August and are still pushing toward Izyum as we speak. They haven’t met much success in that endeavour up until now.

The HIMARS diaries

There has been a lot of “HIMARS hype” online for the past 6 weeks. Every single explosion on the Russian side is suddenly attributed to the HIMARS platform. Although the HIMARS is a welcome addition to the Ukrainian armoury, providing Kiev’s forces with a long arm, and although it has had an impact on the Russian side, it is by no means the magical conflict changing/war winning wunderwaffe some articles and blogs claim it is.

Ukraine claims its HIMARS hit at least 100 high-value targets, including command posts, air defence sites, radar and communication nodes and no less than 50 ammunition depots. The strikes hit the Russians hard, especially the ammo dumps, which Russian artillery depends on to fulfill its mission. In early to mid-August, we saw Russian artillery daily rates of fire drop drastically as a result of those strikes and subsequent Russian measures being taken: For three weeks, Russia dispersed its ammo dumps into smaller ones. This certainly put pressure on Russian logistics which is already stretched in Ukraine. At the same time, this made those ammo dumps harder to detect by NATO intel gathering assets and therefore harder to hit by Ukrainian platforms (HIMARS or other). Each strikes on smaller target also reaping less “return on investment”. By mid to late August, Russian artillery daily rate of fire were back to “pre-HIMARS” levels.

The most high profile HIMARS strikes of them all are those deployed against the Antonovsky Bridge in Kherson. On top of having a strategic value for Kiev, those strikes are also very good PR for the Ukrainian armed forces and for the Zelensky leadership: They show the Ukrainians fighting back against Russia and doing so with the help of Western sourced weapon platforms. Each footage of rockets hitting the bridge and subsequent satellite pictures showing blackened sections on the structure is guaranteed to trend online immediately.

  • Ukrainian troops first shelled the Antonovsky Bridge on the Dnieper river on the 20th of July (Kherson). Twitter was quick to say “HIMARS” but initial picture assessment of the damage pointed toward 155mm Excalibur shells.
  • The Ukrainians hit the Antonovsky bridge again on the 26th of July, this time using HIMARS and causing serious damage to the road bridge, with the railway portion also being damaged. Russian engineers were seen two days later conducting repairs on the bridge (closed to civilian traffic) while simultaneously working on a pontoon crossing and establishing two ferry crossings. The reason why the Ukrainians target this bridge and why the Russians try to maintain crossings in-situ is very simple: If Russian supplies can’t cross the Dnieper river here, the alternative (Deviation to Kakhovskaya bridge then M17 Kherson-Dzankoy) adds 120km to each trip to resupply Russian forces West of the Dnieper.
  • The bridge was again hit on the 14th of August, 22nd of August and several more times since.

The strikes on the Antonovsky Bridge (as well as other bridges) are obviously part of Ukraine’s offensive in Kherson, which is discussed below.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant diaries

Both Ukraine and Russia accuse one another of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear power plant situated in the town of Energodar. Western officials and media support the Ukrainian narrative.

Ukraine accuses Russia of having moved a whole BTG on the power plant grounds. At the same time, Ukraine accuses Russia of shelling the plant’s surroundings and of preparing a provocation/radioactive leak.

Meanwhile, Russia seems to be working on disconnecting the plant from the Ukrainian grid and connecting it instead to the Russian grid, alongside the local (Zaporizhzhia and Kherson) grids. Should they manage to disconnect the plant from the Ukrainian grid, they will deprive 25% of Ukraine of electricity.

NATO has confirmed that a Russian provocation/radioactive leak at the Ukrainian plant would trigger Article 5 of the alliance’s charter.

Ukraine and its allies are seemingly pushing for a demilitarisation of the plant and its surroundings. This would play in favour of Ukraine, which has sought to internationalise this conflict before it even started. It would also change the situation on the ground when Kiev has been unable to do so militarily: From their position in and around Energodar, the Russians are able to both keep pressure on Zaporizhzhia city and shelling the Ukrainian garrison of Kryvyi Rih’s rear area.

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!

NATO supplies

NATO keeps on depleting its strategic military reserves in order to supply Ukraine.

  • An estimated 500,000 X 155mm US shells have been sent to Ukraine out of a total US inventory of roughly 2.7 million shells… Meaning that Ukraine has absorbed/fired in 6 months just short of 20% of the total amount of 155mm shells the US has produced in the past 20 years!
  • The UK announced that it would be sending 20 X M109 SPGs, 36 X L119 105mm guns and 50,000 Soviet Era rounds (Basically 5 days worth of ammunition) to Ukraine. London has also announced its intention to buy 500 Javelins. Unknown if for own use or to pass on to Ukraine.
  • The US pledged to send in twenty HIMARS to Ukraine in total. There were 16 already in use on site by mid August. Washington has allegedly supplied Ukraine with a third of its own HIMARS missile inventory. Retired US general Mark Hertling published some quick estimates on his Twitter feed: 16 HIMARS in Ukraine.
  • -Each HIMARS fires a minimum (MINIMUM!) of 2 pods/day
  • -Each pod has 6 missiles…12 missiles/HIMAR/Day
  • -12 missiles x 16 HIMARS = 192 missiles/day
  • In 1 month, 16 launchers will fire approx 5800 missiles. So in essence, at the pace suggested by Hertling, Ukraine’s GMLRS monthly burn rate would equal about 29% of the entire planned U.S. procurement for the next five years.
  • Those are obviously his own estimates and might not reflect the realities on the ground.
  • The US Army signed an order for the delivery of 40 X M109A7 SPGs with BAE Systems. Unknown if for own use or if those platforms will be delivered to Ukraine. Washington also approved another $775 billion aid package to Ukraine in early August including HIMARS ammunition, 16 X 105mm howitzers, 36,000 shells for those, 15 X Scan Eagle drones, AGM-88 HARM missiles, 1000 x Javelins and 1,000 TOW ATGMs.

Kiev keeps on requesting deliveries of the MQ-1C Grey Eagle drone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Washington is reluctant to send such systems to Ukraine at present, so as to avoid it falling into Russian hands.

The European Commission pledged to send more cash to Kiev (1.59 billion €). So far, the EU has pledged a lot but send very little… Some European countries bloc the funds, including Germany which worries about Ukraine’s bad Credit Score… Saying that, Berlin delivered three additional PzH2000 SPGs and Mars II MLRS towards the end of July… At least 3 Guepards have been delivered so far.

North Macedonia transferred its T-72 MBTs and 4 X Su-25 to Ukraine. Azerbaijan delivered 3 X MiG-29 to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian foreign minister has accused several European countries of simply waiting for Kiev to lose the war/surrender so that the “Ukrainian problem” can resolve itself. His statement was issued following the fact that for the first time since the beginning of the war, several countries including France, Italy, Germany and Spain, made no bilateral military commitment to send aid to Ukraine in July. Germany has however transferred an additional 3X Gepard SPAAGs and 11 X M113 APCs.

By the 29th of July, problems were already reported regarding the PzH2000: Ukraine has received the training, platforms and ammunitions but doesn’t have the infrastructure necessary to maintain the platforms (as is the case with the majority of the Western platforms Kiev has received). What has happened with the M777 is happening with the PzH2000: The constant high tempo operations take their toll on the platforms (wear & tear) which then have to be pulled back from the front toward Poland and/or Slovakia to be repaired/maintained.

The EU is discussing a project aimed at training Ukrainian soldiers within EU countries (NOT inside Ukraine).

On the other side of the divide, Kiev and Washington have accused Iran of having delivered 46 drones to Russia. Saying that, early reports from Russia seem to indicate that the Russian armed forces are far from happy with the performance of those platforms. However, should they manage to iron out those problems, Russia will have at its disposal loitering strike drones that can be deployed over the Ukrainian theatre of operations.

The Russian defence industry is slowly spooling up: KurganMashZavod, the manufacturer of BMP-3 and BMD-4 has been tasked with restarting production of BMP-2 variants.

Ukrainian corruption, manpower losses and divided loyalties problems

On the 7th of August, American news channel CBS reported that “only 30% of western weapons and hardware sent to Ukraine could be traced/accounted for”. The following day, the channel pulled its report off and redacted it, stating that this was the situation up until April and that things have greatly improved since.

Leaked Ukrainian Army documents apparently show that staffing levels of the Ukrainian Armed Forces remain at 48% despite several rounds of mobilisation. According to the same (unverified but widely shared and discussed by Western experts) source, Ukrainian losses amounted to 191,000 men by May 2022 (80,000 KIA/ 110,000 WIA) with an additional 95,000 MIA. Those figures are horrific and unsustainable if confirmed, considering the fact the Ukrainian Armed Force counted 246,445 men (195,626 military personnel) prior to the war. The leak also paints a bleak picture of the Ukrainian health services, which are apparently at breaking point. The report states that badly wounded Ukrainian servicemen have been evacuated to Poland and Germany for care. This on its own is not new and has been ongoing since at least April.

In Ukraine, 651 cases of alleged treason and collaboration have been opened against individuals involved in law enforcement and in the prosecutor’s office. More than 60 officials from the SBU and the prosecutor general’s office are working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied zones, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

The presence of Ukrainian citizens loyal to Russia within the Ukrainian population, including government officials and within the police or armed forces as well as within the security services is not a new problem for Kiev.

In 2014 immediately after Euromaidan, Russian speaking Ukrainians protested and/or rioted against the coup in Kiev and against the new temporary government. Protests were seen in 8 Ukrainian Oblasts: Kharkiv, Dipropetrovsk, Lughansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa. Those protest/riots eventually turned into an armed insurrection in 6 of those oblasts (It did not escalate to that level in Odessa and Kharkiv). The Ukrainian armed forces managed to quell the revolt in most parts of the country except in territories that would eventually become the DPR and LPR (thanks to the intervention of Russian armed forces).

Kiev quickly realised that loyalty was sometimes in short supply within its own police and armed forces: In 2014, many Ukrainian servicemen serving in Crimea were Russian speakers and/or ethnic Russians… As a result, many Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea joined the Russian side. In fact, Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Deputy Chief of the Main Command Center Oleksandr Rozmaznin admitted at the time that around 50% of Ukrainian officers and soldiers based in the Crimean peninsula defected to the Russian side! At the same time, across southern and eastern Ukraine, many police officers joined Moscow-backed separatist groups. whole regional units went over to the side of the enemy, surrendering personal data to the Russian side in the process.

While those events happened 8 years ago, things have not necessarily changed: On the 24th of February 2022 (the 4th day of the war), Russian forces approached the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The 169 members of the Ukrainian National Guard tasked with the defence of the site laid down their weapons without a fight: The commander of the unit was loyal to Moscow!

By early March 2022, Russian forces that had advanced from Crimea were approaching Mariupol from the West. They were greeted by several Mariupol police officers defecting to the Russians.

Ukrainian civilians also pass on information to the Russian side. Ukrainian soldiers and foreign fighters have long complained that some local civilians in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Kherson and Bakhmut work against the Ukrainian side and pass on intelligence to the Russians and separatists.

On August the 8th, CNN filmed images showing Ukrainian citizens crossing the “green corridor”: The point of passage between Ukrainian and Russian controlled territories in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The CNN journalist stated around 70 cars crossed toward the Ukrainian controlled side while “many hundreds” crossed the other way around toward Russian controlled territory and Kherson.

There are many factors for this loyalty toward Moscow (or betrayal toward Kiev, depending on your point of view): Motivations include: Russian roots (Ethnic Russians or Russian speakers); Men torn between the Ukrainian flag and their own linguistic, religious and cultural roots. Some became supporters of the separatist cause while others are older officers that worked for security agencies at the time of the Soviet Union (KGB, interior ministry, police, ect…) and have kept ties with ex-Russian colleagues and/or Moscow since. You also have the older generations, nostalgic of the Soviet era and the families with friends and family members currently working in Russia. Finally, bribery and/or blackmail can also be a factor in some cases.

It looks like the Ukrainian authorities will have their hands full with this problem for many years to come. Not that the Russians are immune against this type of issue: There are in Ukrainian territories controlled by Russia a fair few Ukrainian citizens loyal to Kiev, and they, too, pass on information to their side!

Misc

US Secretary of State stated that the US hopes the situation in Ukraine will be resolved diplomatically over time but that for now, it was necessary to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Ukrainian president Zelensky has vowed to return Crimea to Ukraine.

Both the French and German leadership have issued separate statements saying that Russia must be defeated in Ukraine.

Ukraine is not showing much restraint in its shelling of Donetsk city: on the 24th of July, Donetsk residential areas were shelled with Thermite. In early August, the city’s residential areas were targeted again, this time with with PFM-1 anti-personnel butterfly mines. Russian troops were seen using various methods to try and clear the roads and parks in residential areas from those mines.

War fatigue: Both sides have to deal with servicemen refusing to fight. Soldiers from both sides have been complaining about conditions: Ukrainian servicemen have released multiple videos showing them receiving mouldy food or food in insufficient quantities. They have also complained about the lack of ammunition, the the lack of artillery and air support they receive at the front, the lack of kit they received as well as the lack of training prior to be deployed at the front.

Russian servicemen have mainly moaned about the Russian “push” supply system meaning they regularly receive supplies, albeit not always the one they need. There was an incident where a unit at the front received a large load of toilet paper that had travelled to them all the way from the Far-East and had arrived to them in a rather damp condition…

The separatist republic of Donetsk is apparently negotiating with Pyongyang regarding the deployment of North Korean (civilian) manpower to help with the reconstruction effort in the territories it controls.

Ukraine’s economy is in tatter, with 63% of its coal, 11% of its oil, 20% of its natural gas and 42% of its steel in Russian-separatist hands. The cost of rebuilding the country to its pre-war standard is estimated to be reaching a minimum of $700 billion.

Amnesty international was heavily criticised by Kiev and many of the ONG’s supporter after it published an article on the 4th of August stating that the Ukrainian military sets up bases in residential areas including schools and hospitals and uses populated civilian areas to launch attacks against Russian forces. This is an issue this page raised long ago. Amnesty found itself on the receiving end of heavy criticism for this report, despite stating that “Such (Ukrainian) violations in no way justify Russia’s indiscriminate attacks, which have killed and injured countless civilians”.

Sorry for the long delay in updating you and we will try to post on this conflict more regularly!

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