R. Myers (FB): Ukrainian Kherson offensive

The centre of gravity of the Ukrainian offensive seems to be situated on the „Inhulets River Bridgehead”. The area is heavily contested and both sides have sent in reinforcements. While the Russian side claimed it was about to encircle and reduce the bridgehead, the Ukrainians have actually managed to enlarge the area under their control. New settlements have been retaken by Ukrainian forces and the bridgehead depth has now reached an estimated 12km to 15km. Keep in mind that Kiev keeps a complete media blackout on its ops, so it is hard to see through the fog of war and distinguish facts from propaganda. However, it is now clear that the Ukrainians have successfully advanced in that area of operations.

Russian sources indicate the Ukrainian side is putting pontoon bridges over the Inhulets in order to better reinforce and supply their troops currently fighting in the bridgehead. They also report constant rocket/missile strikes on Russian bridges across the Dnieper and Inhulets (Kherson, Nova Kakhovka, Bersilav) so as to impede the Russian rear and disrupt Russian logistics. The main road bridges are now damaged to a point where they are no longer safe to use. Also, the constant Ukrainian strikes are making it near impossible for Russian engineers to conduct repairs to those structures.

What we are seeing here is a race between Russian engineers and Ukrainian artillery and rocket units: The Russian build pontoon bridges and the Ukrainians try to detect them and destroy them as soon as possible.

The primary aim for the Ukrainian side is to stop the flow of ammunition earmarked for Russian artillery: The Russians do not have the necessary infantry to retake lost ground by means of frontal assaults. Russia relies on its artillery to deter, contain and repulse Ukrainian assaults. If the Ukrainian side manages to starve Russian artillery of shells, they will manage to make small incremental (but daily) gains. Without massive artillery support, the Russian side would also be hard pressed to overturn those gains.
Some Russian experts expect the Ukrainians to push hard in the region for another week or so, that is, until they have exhausted their manpower and ammunition reserves.

In the grand scheme of things, it looks like Ukraine is attempting to push through the Davidyv Bryd (Inhulets River) bridgehead and toward the Dnieper, thus forcing the Russian forces between their position and Kryvyi Rih to either retreat south toward Kherson or face being cut off from the main Russian grouping.

We will soon enough see if they manage to do so or if they run out of men and ammunition first. At this time of the year, weather is also a factor, with October and November being the rainiest months of the year in Ukraine.

A big uptick in VKS activity has been observed in the Kherson and Nikolayev Oblasts in support of Russian ground troops. Russian strategic aviation (bombers and missile carriers) has been observed concentrating in the Belgorod Oblast (Russia), probably to act on a possible Ukrainian offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast: Rumours have abounded about Ukraine concentrating troops in the area for the past week or so as Russian forces have been making incremental gains in North of Kharkiv for over a month now. Ukrainian artillery activity in the province has suddenly increased in the past 48 hours and earlier today a small scale Ukrainian assault was apparently launched against Balakliya.

In other news, it seems Russian forces have made some advances toward Kodema and have potentially taken the settlement. This would place them in a favourable position south of Bakhmut for upcoming operations toward the city. Wagner was apparently involved in the operation. This would not be a surprise: Wagner has been operating in the vicinity of Bakhmut for a couple of months at least.

Finally, US intelligence has reported that Russia is potentially currently purchasing millions of 122mm and152mm artillery shells as well as 122mm Grad rockets from North Korea.

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