A Blog by Jonathan Low


Mar 11, 2024

Russian Reality: US Stopped Arms 5 Months Ago, But Moscow Advance Has Failed

Krynky, Robotyne, Bakhmut, Kupiansk - even Avdiivka. In the five months since Russian-compromised US Republicans halted arms shipments to Ukraine, the Russians have failed to make any significant advances. This includes Avdiivka, reduced to a smoking heap of rubble without military or economic value, where a preponderance of Russian troops and artillery proved incapable of exploiting  Ukrainian ammunition shortages to make further gains. 

Experts reveal that if the Russians continue to 'advance' at this pace, it would take them 18 months to achieve their objectives. But that doesnt even account for the stiffened Ukrainian resistance, meaning that it would likely take longer. Nor does it consider the strategic Russian losses to their air force, to the Black Sea Fleet nor to logistics capabilities. In short, Putin may never achieve even his scaled back objectives. JL

Radu Hossu reports via General Ben Hodges on Twitter:

The objective of the Russian offensive that began in October 2023 is to reach Kramatorsk. (But) the Russian army has not advanced significantly. If it were to continue at the pace of the last few months it would need 18 months. At Kupyansk, in the last month the Russians have not advanced at all, despite the massing of 40,000 Russians and 1,000 armored vehicles. After Avdiivka, the Russians advanced 4km. At this rhythm they would reach Porkovsk in 12 months (but) the front has stabilized. It's been 5 months since the US stopped giving arms aid but Ukraine is resisting. "I don't think Russia will conquer Kramatorsk or Sloviansk, and don't think they will ever conquer Donbas."
It's very easy to lose sight of our perspective on the front and assume, as Kremlin propaganda tries to convince us, that Russia cannot be defeated. But the reality is different: You can see on maps that in a month's time the Russian Army has not advanced significantly with one notable exception - Avdiivka: - Kupyansk axis: in the last month the Russians have not advanced at all, despite all sources (Ukrainian and Russian) claiming the massing of more than 40,000 Russians and more than 1,000 armored vehicles on this axis. - Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar axis: in the last month they have advanced 2.5 km from Bakhmut to Chasiv Yar. During this period of time, they captured Ivanivske. - The ultimate objective of this Russian offensive that began in October 2023 is to reach Kramatorsk. If it were to continue at the pace of the last few months (an accelerated pace compared to what had happened in previous months), the Russian Army would need 18 months, and once they reached the gates of Kramatorsk they would encounter a complex defense system, which alone would require all available forces to achieve the objective. So I don't think Russia will get to conquer Kramatorsk or Sloviansk in the short to medium future, and thus I don't think they will ever conquer Donbas. - Robotyne axis: in the last month the Russians have advanced 1.5 km in depth on a front several hundred meters wide. Again, insignificant on a grand scale. - Krynky Axis: no change in the last month. To be closer to the truth, there has been almost no change here since November 2023, with the Ukrainians still managing to hold the bridgehead, generating huge losses to the Russians, considering that there have never been more than 300 Ukrainians present in Krynky, backed indeed by artillery, air support and drones from the west bank of the Dnieper. At the same time, with about 50 times more Russian soldiers in front of them. Losses tallied by visually confirmed as 230 Russian armored vs 51 Ukrainian. A ratio of 4.5 to 1. - Avdiivka Axis: This is where the Russians have had their biggest lead in the last month, and where they've had perhaps their biggest visually confirmed losses. After the fall of Avdiivka on 17 February, they have advanced between 2.5km and 4km. If this rhythm is maintained (not maintained) they would reach Porkovsk in 12 months. Why did I say it is not maintained? Because the front has stabilized. Losses confirmed visually also by amount to: 792 Russian armored vs 105 Ukrainian. An extreme 8:1 ratio. I want to take into account that all these last 5 months since Russia started multi-axis offensives have been conducted without US help. Putin said in an interview that without the US, Ukraine would be defeated in 2-3 weeks. It's been 5 months since the US stopped giving arms aid and Ukraine is resisting. ----- After all this information, leaving aside the losses on both sides that are making waves on the internet (13 Russian warplanes vs 1 possible HIMARS, 1 possible Abrams, and 2 possible Patriot batteries in the Ukrainian Armed Forces), leaving aside the bellicose statements of Putin, his puppies or the shocking and incomprehensible statements of the Pope we can see, if we look at the big picture, the following things: - Ukraine is resisting against more than 400,000 Russian troops, thousands of armored vehicles, artillery ammunition used at a ratio of 6:1 to 9:1 in favor of the Russians; - Ukraine not only resists but manages to significantly affect Russia's oil exports, thus affecting the supply of troops with fuel, through deep attacks on Russian territory; - Ukraine has managed to generate its own Grain Corridor and now manages to maintain it. All the while, it has sunk a third of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, without having a war fleet of its own; - Ukraine still manages to galvanize the West into supporting its effort to fight the invading terrorists, against all the handicaps it entered this war with and had to get used to (an army VASTLY outnumbered in terms of military personnel, EXTREMELY outgunned in terms of military equipment). Now imagine if it were backed to win. Do you think it would be impossible? 2022, with the Kyiv-Sumy, Harkiv, and Mykolayiv-Herson counteroffensives, has shown us that no, it is not impossible. In 2023 he showed us that he can destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet and deny Russian air superiority. I believe that with our help, all of us, but especially our governments, Ukraine can win. By their courage, by their determination, by their will, by their love of freedom. With our weapons.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately now that Trump has opened his trap that he's going to stab Ukraine in the back and all the NATO members it's going to be WW-3 in Europe when he wins the election. This will be a greater disaster then Chamberlin's "Peace in Our Time" declaration.

Anonymous said...

Joe cut-off arms to Ukraine in August. He didn't ask Congress for more money until October. Moreover, Joe doesn't need Congressional authority to send weapons and ammo (look at Nixon in '73). He only needs Congress for funds to *replace* the ammo.

Joe's national security clowns decided long ago that Ukraine must not be allowed to win. But, they did decide to make everything worse by playing politics with national security. Ukraine is screwed regardless.

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