A Blog by Jonathan Low


Jul 14, 2024

Ukraine Drives Russians Out Of Another Village in Kharkiv Oblast

Ukrainian forces continue to successfully counterattack along multiple sectors of the front line, but especially in Kharkiv oblast. JL

Brendan Cole reports in Newsweek:

Ukrainian troops have driven Russian forces out of a village in northern Kharkiv. The village was among several settlements which had faced Russian shelling following Moscow's push into the region by the border which was launched on May 10. Western aid has allowed Ukrainian forces to stabilize critical areas of the front and make successful counterattacks in northern Kharkiv, toward the city of Kreminna in the Luhansk region. Kharkiv has been the scene of huge losses of Russian troops, which the British defense ministry said on Friday had reached "conflict highs."

Ukraine's Drone Obstacle Course Teaches Pilots Pinpoint Accuracy

Practice makes perfect. JL

Howard Altman reports in The Drive Warzone:

A Ukrainian training ground’s obstacle course is designed to help teach new Ukrainian FPV pilots how to fly over, around, and through objects, avoid electronic warfare countermeasures, and hit moving targets. “We have a constant need to train our pilots and operators. The world of unmanned systems is constantly changing and the enemy comes up with new methods which can prevent us from completing our tasks,” The obstacle course offers challenges from mockups of building facades to slaloming around metal poles to buzzing through hoops. There are also static targets, like an old automobile.

Russia Attempts New Attacks At Vovchansk, Suffers "Heavy Losses"

Russian forces again appear focused on another objective which they have repeatedly failed to take. The issue appears to be that the Kremlin cannot countenance their inability to achieve objectives and so will expend as many lives and resources as necessary to be proven wrong. 

This time it's Vovchansk. JL

New Voice of Ukraine reports:

Russia is attempting to regroup in the Lyptsi and Vovchansk sectors of the front in Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast. The Kharkiv direction, initially considered auxiliary, has become a priority for the Russian General Staff, with “significant resources being deployed in the area” while Ukrainian forces continued to push back Russian forces in the Kharkiv sector.

Permission For Ukraine To Hit Targets in Russia "Has Had Huge Impact"

As a result of the Ukrainians' ability to hit military sites in western Russia, the Kremlin has lost key command and control centers, logistics and weapons storage sites, troop concentrations  - and has forced them to push their missiles and air bases further away from the border, all of which has contributed to a degradation of Russian offensive capabilities. JL

Ivana Kottasova reports on CNN

The permission by the US and other allies to use Western weapons to strike inside Russia has had a huge impact. This allowed Kyiv to hit and destroy or severely damage key targets inside Russia. These include a regiment command post in Belgorod region, an ammunition depot in Voronezh, a drone facility and an airfield in Krasnodar, communication centers in Bryansk,  naval sites in occupied Crimea and pushed Russia's S-300 system with which they were striking Kharkiv much further away, “We have destroyed targets inside Russia, which allowed for several successful counteroffensives. The Russian military can no longer feel impunity and security.”

Jul 13, 2024

New Boats Give Ukraine's Navy Coastal, Riverine Attack Capabilities

Fast and maneuverable attack craft donated by a number of NATO countries have given Ukraine's Navy and Marines additional ability to assault Russian forces in key vulnerable areas. JL

Lauren Frias reports in Business Insider:

Sweden has provided13 CB90s to Ukraine's navy. The Netherlands donated nearly two dozen inflatable and armored boats, including three CB90s. Finland also delivered landing crafts to Ukraine. The 52-foot-long patrol boat is propelled by twin diesel engines that allow it to travel at speeds of up to 40 knots with a range of 240 nautical miles. In addition to its top-mounted guns, the CB90 can deploy Hellfire anti-ship missiles, 2.8-ton sea mines, and depth charges.

Ukrainian Forces Are Counterattacking On Several Areas of the Front

The plan is to keep the Russians off balance as the Kremlin's troop reinforcement and equipment shortages multiply after the failure of its Kharkiv offensive. JL 

Olena Ivashkiv reports in Ukraine Pravda:

Ukrainian troops are actively engaging in limited counterattacks in specific frontline areas. Russian infantry units are reportedly assaulting Ukrainian trench positions in single-file columns due to pervasive Ukrainian minefields and poor assault training. Ukrainian forces may be able to conduct counteroffensive operations even while largely on the defensive depending on the arrival of Western aid.

Ukraine Drone Damages Russia's Most Important Space Test Facility

The Kapustin Yar facility was built in 1946 and staffed with Nazi rocket scientists to create and test big rockets. Russia's rockets are still developed and tested there. 

That Ukraine was able to attack it shows that Russia's air defenses are weak, disrupts development of more civilian terror weapons - and shows that Ukraine can hit almost anywhere in western Russia it likes. JL

David Axe reports in Forbes

In May 1946, the Soviet Union created a new rocket test range outside Moscow, to experiment with ex-Nazi V-2 rockets. The Kapustin Yar range is the birthplace of the Soviet space program. Tests spurred the development of rockets that lofted the first Soviet satellites into orbit. On July 9, at least one Ukrainian drone struck a rocket assembly building at Kapustin Yar, setting it ablaze. It’s the second Ukrainian strike in two weeks targeting a Russian space facility - and another ominous sign for Russia that its most important military and industrial facilities are exposed to Ukrainian attacks. “These strikes  put pressure on Putin in front of the Russian people, (showing) he ‘can’t defend Russia.”