A Blog by Jonathan Low


Feb 3, 2023

Ukrainians Hold In Bakhmut and Vuhledar Against Russia's Suicidal Human Waves

The Russians continue to throw their - by definition - less valuable conscripts against Bakhmut and Vuhledar on the theory that they can afford to lose militarily and socio-economically people whereas the Ukrainians can less afford to lose their better educated, more committed and productive citizens. 

The problem with that theory, aside from its medieval brutality, is that most of Russia's educated elite have fled, leaving the country a relatively worthless peasantry whose numbers are being depleted. JL 

Mark Sumner reports in Daily Kos:

Bakhmut holds, Ukrainian forces still seem to be in similar positions to those held for weeks, and there are other reports of fighting in Soledar. That would be the same Soledar Russia reportedly captured back in mid-January. To the south, Russia has called off more assaults on Vuhledar because of … bad weather. That’s the actual report. Probably nothing to do with Russian forces there suffering two enormous defeats in the space of three days.
To the south, Russia has called off more assaults on Vuhledar because of … bad weather. That’s the actual report. Probably nothing to do with Russian forces there suffering two enormous defeats in the space of three days.

Based on the latest information, Bakhmut holds, but things are definitely not good.

Updated map of Bakhmut area. Open image in another tab for a larger view.

Russia is again reported to be advancing to the south of the city, moving toward the highway south of Ivaniske. To the north, Russia is in the village of Mykolaivka and is reported to be attacking both to the east and the west from that location. 

These twin assaults place Russia in a position to cut off supply lines on either side of the city. It’s not an encirclement. Ukrainian forces are not trapped. For now Ukraine still has a firm grip on the M03 to the northwest, enabling troops to come and go from Bakhmut. But the situation in the city is looking very, very ragged with constant artillery bombardment and forces scrambling to new positions. 

Things have been critical in Bakhmut before and Ukraine has pushed Russia back. If that’s going to happen this time, it needs to happen very soon.

UPDATE: Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 · 4:30:10 PM EST · Mark Sumner

Wagner Group forces are claiming to have taken control of the village of Mykolaivka (Nikolaevk) to the northwest of Soledar. There are some images that appear to support this claim, but no official statement from Ukraine.

UPDATE: Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 · 3:09:16 PM EST · Mark Sumner

If you’re looking for a detailed breakdown of what Russian assaults in Ukraine look like, why they are taking such heavy losses, and why they’re able to scrape out gains anyway, you won’t do much better than this article at Wavell Room

The assault was not led in by a reconnaissance force. It is uncertain whether there was any reconnaissance at all. As previously described, there was no artillery support after the fire plan lifted. The lack of artillery forward observers; the described inadequacies of tactical communications; and ‘old-fashioned’ fire control practices mean an infantry company cannot conduct dynamic or ‘on call’ offensive support.

UPDATE: Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 · 12:20:30 PM EST · Mark Sumner

Breaking with the usual rules to touch on this thread, even though images are genuinely sensitive (and of course, are not marked). The reason for including this is the detailed accounting of how Russia’s human wave attacks are intended to work. It’s not just throwing people away with no goal, it’s throwing people away with a plan.

Overnight, there were repeated reports on Telegram channels, from both Russian and Ukrainian sources, that Russian forces had made significant advances south of Bakhmut, that supply lines into the city were in danger, and that Ukrainian forces had begun falling back to defensive positions west of the the city. However, as of this morning, Bakhmut holds, Ukrainian forces still seem to be in similar positions to those held for weeks, and there are other reports of fighting in Soledar. That would be the same Soledar Russia reportedly captured back in mid-January. There are videos showing what are reportedly large numbers of Russian prisoners and horrific losses in what is reported to be the Soledar area. But wait! There are videos that claim to show a Ukrainian counterattack into Soledar being crushed.

All of this is to say that the fog of war lies especially heavy over the Bakhmut area this morning. Let’s pull up the Tuesday map for reference …

Bakhmut area on Jan. 31, 2023. Open image in another tab for a larger view.

It’s a pretty fair bet that, when all the bulls**t settles on Thursday, this is still not a bad representation of where things stand.

Russian sources are claiming that they’ve not only moved through the area west of Ivanivske on the south of the city, but that they are approaching Chasiv Yar. However, there has been no confirmation of any of this. On the north, they also claim to control Paraskoviivka  and Krasna Hora. That claim seems to be an outright lie. 

In this Russian view, Bakhmut is “nearly encircled,” cut off to both north and south, and Ukrainian forces have no choice but to leave. And that’s setting aside the Russian sources claiming that Bakhmut has completely fallen, and that an improbably large number of Ukrainian troops in the city (50,000! 100,000! 130,000!) have either surrendered or been slaughtered.

On the other hand, Ukrainian sources are saying little about any Russian movement south of the city and talking about continued fighting at Soledar. That includes images of reportedly large numbers of prisoners taken (not going to show) and body-strewn fields (not going to show) and still more of those videos in which a well-placed drone grenade hits a whole squad of Russian troops (nope, not going to show). Ukraine also reports having repelled a Russian attack on Paraskoviivka. Both Ivanivske and Paraskoviivka are among the locations reported shelled on Thursday morning, which is a good indicator that they are still under Ukrainian control.

At this point, it seems clear that heavy combat is going on both north and south of Bakhmut. In addition, Russian forces (reportedly still Wagner Group at this location) continue in the attempt to push into the city from the east. There are some indications that Russia has made it into the first few streets along the T1302 highway south of Pidhorodne. Otherwise, reports are still talking about the same winery, meatpacking plant, and other industrial sites that have been the area of fighting for months.

The best sign that things in Bakhmut really aren’t that different than they have been for weeks may be also one of the most horrible: images of Russian artillery strikes in civilian areas, and of Ukrainian forces still working to evacuate injured and isolated civilians who have been reluctant to leave even after months of destruction. Both soldiers and emergency workers continue in the effort to get people out of Bakhmut, sometimes at very high personal cost.


Karissa Buris said...

Executive-Education.id is an educational institution which offers tutoring services where tutors come to your home, making sure that students can study ... click https://kursus-mandarin.vercel.app/kursus-bahasa-mandarin-online.html for more details

Antonio Iulianetti said...

You can expect private lessons for PAUD, TK, SD, SMP, SMA, and Alumni. With a built-in and accelerated method, it truly is hoped which it are able to foster a generation of people who have good morals... click for more detail https://ipa-exed.blogspot.com/2022/06/les-privat-ipa-di-matraman-terdekat.html

Terry Felkner said...

Very best along with Lowest priced Jabodetabek Exclusive Classes, all of our workers and instructors come to your dwelling, established your own personal analyze plan and may choose every field associated with study ... click https://privat-jabodetabek.netlify.app/les-privat-pasar-rebo.html for more details

Post a Comment