A Development at Mariupol – TTG

Tonight’s Statement of the Ukrainian MOD

Together the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Chief Intelligence Office of the Ministry of Defense, Border Control Service, the National Guard of Ukraine began the rescue operation of the defenders of Mariupol from Azovstal steelmill. On May 16, 53 heavily wounded defenders were evacuated to the hospital in Novoazovsk from Azovstal. Another 211 persons via humanitarian corridor were transported to Olenivka. The exchange procedure will further take place in order to bring them home. As for the defenders who still remain in Azovstal, the joined efforts of the mentioned authorities are aimed towards their rescue.

Thanks to the defenders of Mariupol we gained crucial time to form the reserves, regrouping of the forces and getting help from our partners. The defenders of Mariupol have completed all the orders of the command. Unfortunately, we cannot de-lock Azovstal by using military approach. The most important joined task of Ukraine and the entire world is to save lives of the defenders of Mariupol. 

Comment: Some if not all of the seriously wounded were evacuated from the tunnels of Azovstal today. They are to be returned to Ukrainian control in a prisoner exchange. What will happen to the rest of the garrison at Azovstal has not been announced. It seems that both Erdogan and Xi Jinping had a hand in these arrangements. A number of wives and mothers of the Azovstal defenders flew to Istanbul to thank both of them. Zelenskiy is to speak to the nation about this.


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55 Responses to A Development at Mariupol – TTG

  1. d74 says:

    Contrary to what this text says (“Ukraine has done everything”), it is a surrender for the healthy and a medical evacuation for the wounded.
    They are prisoners of war, or future prisoners when the wounded will be recovered from their wound or disease.

    Depending on their condition, they were directed to two cities in Donbass-Donesk, one with a well-equipped hospital, the other with a prison camp.

    Not being able to access an area controlled by their enemies, Ukrainian authorities, Ukrainian services, Ukrainian army, played no role. (Be careful, the videos show some rare civilians without distinctive signs in the middle of a flock of armed Russian and DNR soldiers).

    Before possibly participating in a numbers-for-numbers exchange, the prisoners will have their criminal records carefully examined. The death penalty has not been abolished in the DNR.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Rubbish! The surrender of a small surrounded and besieged garrison after 8o some odd days of incessant combat means nothing.

      • Matthew says:

        I can’t believe the Russians are foolish enough to exchange these guys. It would be a huge propaganda win for the Ukraine. Maybe the Russians really are this weak….


        • joe90 says:

          Why not exchange them, they will seek pay back against who? Their leaders. So why not let them?

      • d74 says:

        All right. Nothing it is.
        I had already written it the day before May 9.
        So why is the Ukrainian government lying against all odds?

        • Pat Lang says:

          What is the “lie?”

          • southpoint says:

            The NYT called it an “evacuation” for starters.
            Reading MSM, the Russians have lost 1/3 of their army , are shooting themselves to get out of combat, don’t have any tanks left, etc. etc. etc.

          • d74 says:

            The lie:
            “Together the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Chief Intelligence Office of the Ministry of Defense, Border Control Service, the National Guard of Ukraine began the rescue operation…” and so on.

            There is no ‘rescue’ but surrender.

            Elon Musk, the Pope, the equilibrist on sword from Ankara, and even Macron may have done more for a semi-civilized outcome of this sad affair. Maybe, not sure. D4 level intelligence.

            So no one but the Russians … and the surrenders (A1).
            The case is small, the lie pitiful.

          • Pat Lang says:

            I see no lie there, just guvspeak.

      • morongobill says:

        You think the surrender of their elite unit means nothing?
        I am not a military expert but the surrender of the Azov
        which is the steel in Zelensky’s spine should mean something.

  2. Eliot says:


    Why are you carrying water for these people.

    – Eliot

    • English Outsider says:

      TTG – It might be risky to come to a judgement right now about the Azov fighters in the steel works. Here’s what Baud has to say about such fighters generally:-

      “The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense then turned to NATO to help make its armed forces more “attractive.” Having already worked on similar projects within the framework of the United Nations, I was asked by NATO to participate in a program to restore the image of the Ukrainian armed forces. But this is a long-term process and the Ukrainians wanted to move quickly.

      “So, to compensate for the lack of soldiers, the Ukrainian government resorted to paramilitary militias. They are essentially composed of foreign mercenaries, often extreme right-wing militants. In 2020, they constituted about 40 percent of the Ukrainian forces and numbered about 102,000 men, according to Reuters. They were armed, financed and trained by the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France. There were more than 19 nationalities—including Swiss.”


      Baud also mentions Azov specifically:

      “Conversely, these militias seek to keep civilians in the cities in order to dissuade the Russian army from fighting there. This is why they are reluctant to implement these corridors and do everything to ensure that Russian efforts are unsuccessful—they can use the civilian population as “human shields. Videos showing civilians trying to leave Mariupol and beaten up by fighters of the Azov regiment are of course carefully censored here.

      “On Facebook, the Azov group was considered in the same category as the Islamic State and subject to the platform’s “policy on dangerous individuals and organizations.” It was therefore forbidden to glorify it, and “posts” that were favorable to it were systematically banned. But on February 24, Facebook changed its policy and allowed posts favorable to the militia.”


      We’re now seeing things going further than that and Azov fighters are being elevated to the status of heroes or martyrs. In fact they used the same tactics as the Jihadis and shot at civilians who were trying to escape being used as human shields. I’d rather celebrate the courage of the ordinary Ukrainian soldier, which was notable back in 2014 and must, whatever our views on the conflict, excite our admiration now, than see these dubious Azov characters being romanticised.

      • Steve says:


        Baud is probably the best source of information regarding the history of this conflict, demonstrating a clear path from the US engineered overthrow of Yanukovic using violent extremists through to the planned February offensive to roll over the Russophone majority in Donbas. If nothing else it asks serious questions of the claim that the invasion was “unprovoked”.

        • Pat Lang says:

          So, the Russian attempt to overthrow the Ukrainian gov was justified by the sins of the neocons? You are the worst kind of amoralist.

          • Muralidhar Rao says:

            Sir, we all know that there were diplomatic dancing around since Dec with Macron Shultz etc multiple visits to Moscow to implement Minsk agreements. President Zelensky refused. This was going on for 8 years. So in your opinion how much more Russians are supposed to wait? Thanks

          • TTG says:


            The Minsk agreements also called for full Ukrainian control of her borders. That was never allowed to happen in the Donbas due to Russian interference. Russia could have just continued giving those Ukranians not willing to live under Kyiv Russian citizenship and
            Russian residency and stayed within her own borders… plus Crimea. No one was going to challenge the Russian seizure of Crimea.

          • joe90 says:

            Though I would like to reply to TTG´s falsehoods, what is the point. He would r* babies for personal enjoyment.

            However do you forget or not know that President (whatever we think of the election) Biden admitted that the US gov. orchestrated the 2014 coup. The Ukrainian gov. is nothing but a criminal org. run by criminals that is sending brave men to die for no good reason. This war was over in February , all that is left is the killing. The Ukrainiens were trained by NATO to fight snow n* with ak-74s (yes 47s are just produced for civs.) and hoodies, now they are finding out what combined arms war is about. Brutal, CAW is about killing the other, then taking free land. Not taking land and daring other to try and take it back.

    • asx says:

      I see no problem with TTG’s stand on this issue. He has not hid his roots or his political leanings, both of which come with baseline levels of axiomatic Russophobia. It is his own problem how not to conflate all these when analyzing the situation or advocating for a cause. As readers, we can apply the appropriate discount and process his opinions.

      The question to be asked is how dispassionate are the actors who make decisions. We have bet and now doubled down on canceling Russia, while being unable to come up with anything coherent on China. Just like how this surrender is repackaged as an evacuation or rescue, I dread what fanciful descriptions they will apply to relegating the US as a junior partner to the CCP.

      • Sam says:

        “….relegating the US as a junior partner to the CCP.“

        I recall reading many books and articles about how the US would be relegated to Japan Inc. in the 80s. The CCP is riding a tiger by the tail. IMO, they ain’t as powerful as many folks perceive. Not unlike the perception of Russian military strength prior to their invasion of Ukraine.

        • James says:


          I too remember the 90s when “everyone” was saying that the US would be eclipsed by Japan Inc. – and I think your comparison is an apt one.

          However the Chinese might argue that Japan’s key mistake was to remain subservient to the US and what China can do is to expand its political influence around the world (as the US did in the 50s) to imitate the US success of export led growth of the 50s and 60s.

          Will the CCP be able to keep up the economic growth that has provided them with legitimacy in the eyes of their citizenry? Thomas Orlik’s superb book ‘China: the Bubble that Never Pops’ argues that it might go either way.

          • Sam says:


            Japan not eclipsing the US had nothing to do with US subservience. Their behavior at that time was just the opposite. I recall several business trips to Tokyo in that period and their belief then that their long-term approach would trump American short-termism in corporate boardrooms. Additionally they believed that government-corporate strategic planning driven by MITI would best American individual business strategies of each company. They ultimately got upended by their own sense of infallibility and the insufficiency of a creative mindset and their own zaitech bubble.

            CCP has a top-down decision making structure that has been furthered to Mao levels by Xi. Although the Chinese have been historically very entrepreneurial much of the dynamism that was unleashed under the reforms by Deng is now being steadily strangled. Xi is focused on his primacy and the rule of the Party. Look how he crushed their tech behemoths when he felt threatened by the star power of Jack Ma and others.

            The parallels to Japan is the size of their banking system relative to the size of their economy and demographic trends. And very importantly the squeezing of the consumer to benefit the state favored enterprises. The absolutely nutty lockdowns in Shanghai and other cities with no consideration about ordinary peoples lives are all harbingers of fear. CCP rule is already showing signs of instability. In these situations the facade of political stability and an iron fist hide growing instability. The US has nothing to do with any of it.

  3. jld says:

    Some of the surrender viewed from the Russian side.
    It seems not all prisoners are to be exchanged.

  4. Fred says:

    What a wonderful caption photo. Kudos on the visuals TTG.

  5. Christian J. Chuba says:

    The original garrison was 3,000+ troops. All of them are now either killed, wounded, or captured. It’s the largest, well documented, victory of the war. Where has a Russian force, of any size, been surrounded?

    It is true that holding out as long as possible, is the best thing you can do for your country and they did. It is also true that a substantial number of them will be re-patriated to Ukraine in some kind of prisoner exchange. If one is to believe Newsmax, Russian officers get more target practice.

    • Fred says:


      You might want to look up what happened to the Russian airborne forces.

      • Pat Lang says:

        chewed to pieces.

        • Fred says:


          Yes. From what I have seen it was worse than the fallschirmjäger experienced in Crete. At least they were reinforced on the airfield they captured. Didn’t the Russians know they would need to secure the approaches too so as to land reinforcements?

          • TTG says:


            I’ve read that US intelligence on the invasion plans were passed to Kyiv in time to anticipate the attempted seizure of Hostomel Airport. That and the Russian failure to suppress Ukrainian air defenses doomed the landing. Even with all that, the biggest mistake was assuming the Ukrainian military would immediately fold. I do wonder if Russian intel was seeing the strength of Ukrainian morale, but those assessments never made it to the Kremlin.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            I happened to read a piece by Gilbert Doctorow citing his taxi driver in Saint Petersburg, of all people, who happened to be a retired GRU officer. A quote:

            Our GRU officer in retirement said that the first five days of the ‘special military operation’ were a disaster, with heavy loss of life on the Russian side. It was all due, he said, to the incompetence of the major generals in Moscow who were in charge of the invasion. Considering the debacle, he accuses them of treason. In fact, they were removed from command days later and shunted to one side. But our driver insists the whole lot of them should have been shot.

            Why were they incompetent? Because they owed their jobs to corruption, not to merit. The major generals were armchair experts, whereas the Russian Armed Forces had plenty of simple generals who had proven themselves in the field of action. Moreover, Intelligence experts were kept out of the operation, which explains its starting out on false premises about the enemy

            Sounds familiar.


      • Christian J. Chuba says:

        It looks like the Russian paratroopers retreated in good order …

        “We saw the blood stains but found no bodies,” KR@M [some Ukrainian source] said. They even retrieved their shell casings, he said.”

        I admit that I am not a military guy but if you have time to retrieve shell casings, you are not being slaughtered.

        • TTG says:


          That NYT article implies that this Russian unit was from Alfa Group. That’s the equivalent of our SFOD Delta or ST6 (or whatever it’s called now). At least they took their dead with them. Instead of policing up brass, if that’s what they did, they should have completed the mission.

      • joe90 says:

        How many died? War is bloody, mistake and s* happen, what was the strategic result? Can we be real, step back and look at the big picture?

        The US (well lots) say they never lost a battle in Vietnam (not true), still they lost the war. So what is the big picture? Hint, it will never be Snake Island.

  6. John R says:

    Here’s a reasonable account of what happened in Azovstal (which story is not finished). The first ten minutes is worth hearing. It seems to have begun among isolated units and spread. The Azovstal commander, then Kiev jumped to stop the bleeding and gain control of situation (or should I say control of the narrative?).


    It’s difficult to cut through the propaganda which seems to be the vanguard in this war. Certainly, MSM is unreliable. I’m surprised PL and TTG give it any credence. It leads me to inexorable despair over the competence of our intelligence agencies and their judgement.

  7. KK says:

    Also in the news, Paulus’s 6th army was evacuated from Stalingrad on Feb 2 1943, after fulfilling its combat mission.

    On a more serious note, Russians are saying that they Azov & Co surrendered unconditionally. So that is the evidence that promises were made (by Russia) to do a prisoner exchange? Some prisoner exchange made take place at some point, but I have not seen any evidence that any promises were made by Russia.

    Russian offer “surrender or die” was always on the table. Azov wanted transfer to a 3rd country. What exactly did Erdogan & Xi contribute?

    • TTG says:


      I have no idea what Erdogan and Xi did. I also have no idea how many, if any, Ukrainian soldiers remain in the tunnels of Azovstal. Was that 200 plus all that was left are are there close to 2,000 still down there? Ukrainian MOD knows, but isn’t saying.

  8. Leith says:

    2,500 against 14,000! 12 weeks!

    Cornwallis at the Siege of Yorktown lasted only three weeks. The Alamo lasted less than two. And Moscow held out against Batu Khan for just a day.

    The defenders of Mariupol gave Ukraine critical time to win the Battles of Kiev and Kharkiv. Without them Ukraine would not have been able to mobilize and start the counter-offensive. They are going to be much celebrated in history.

    May Mary Mother of God grant those in Putin’s custody a small bit of anesthesia from the pain of the FSB bonebreakers and Kadyrov’s headchoppers. Unfortunately there will be some unable to hold out and will sign forced false confessions scripted by Putin’s Nazi paranoia. Some of his fanboys in the West will crow ‘Told you so’.

  9. Worth Pointing Out says:

    I don’t understand how you can write/recite such an article and not mention the word “Russia” once. It’s as if they don’t exist, and had no part to play in this latest development.

    Yet the guys loading the stretchers into the vehicles are Russian soldiers, and the buses that are driving these “rescued” (the Ukrainians) or “evacuated” (TTG) soldiers away have a big “Z” graffitied on the side of it.

    Someone who hasn’t been following this conflict could read your post and come away from it without any inkling that these Azov boys have just surrendered to the Russians, and are now prisoners of war of the Russian Army.

    “They are to be returned to Ukrainian control in a prisoner exchange.”

    With whom, exactly? Because your post reads like the Ukrainians are fighting He Who Must Not Be Named.

    • mcohen says:


      I feel your heartfelt but the truth is a slippery nipple if you want to suck from the Queen of hearts teat.
      Better to call the bluff and move along

  10. Razumov says:

    According to the Russians there will be no “exchange” for Azov guys who are going to be put on trial for war crimes.

    As for the NATO officers still in the catacombs, I don’t know.

    Here is a photo of them from one of the surrendered Azov’s phone:


    • TTG says:


      I have no doubt the Russians, as well as the DNR/LNR, will go after the Azov guys. How about the 36th Marine Brigade, 12th National Guard Brigade,border guards, police officers and Territorial Defense Forces who are also among the defenders of Azovstal?

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        If a 36th Marine Brigade soldier has done nothing but “soldiering” then when they surrendered they became a Prisoner of War, and they will go to a PoW Camp.

        They’ll stay there until the end of hostilities, or until the Russians agree to swap him for some prisoners being held in Ukrainian PoW Camps, whichever is the more convenient.

        That’s Russia’s choice.

        But if that same soldier committed an atrocity (a “grave violation of the laws of war”) then the Russians are perfectly entitled as the Detaining Power to prosecute him for those war crimes. Up to and including the death penalty.

        That’s what the Geneva Conventions say, so that’s what the Russians can do. Why do you even pose your question since you must know the answer?

  11. English Outsider says:

    TTG – some analysts are claiming that the actions around Kiev and Kharkov and the like were part of a wider Russian plan and performed their function in that plan. Others are claiming that they represent a defeat for the Russian army and are proof that the Russians are losing or might lose overall. All that’s fiercely disputed.

    What isn’t in dispute is that the Kiev forces are facing impending disaster in the central theatre. The hoped for guerrilla conflict to follow is unlikely to be successful.

    Also unsuccessful is the economic war Washington and Brussels have been waging. That war was lost almost as soon as started when the sanctions failed to collapse the Russian economy. We’re seeing suggestions that Washington will double down. I think tariffs and price caps on Russian oil are being considered, plus attempts to drive Russia into default by not allowing it to pay foreign bondholders.

    But we’re also seeing the Europeans refusing to go along any more. Italy, France and Germany are calling for peace. Brussels, which, from its rhetoric at least, had been taking a harder line on sanctions even than Washington, is now having to backtrack in the face of resistance from member states. There’s no winning in this war either and doubling down will merely lead to further economic self-harm for the West.

    All acknowledge that the Crimea is lost permanently. Whatever the Russians on the Americans have to say on the matter, after eight years of war against Kiev the Donbas will also no longer accept rule from Kiev. It would be a gross betrayal if that part of the Ukraine were to be forced back under Kiev rule. The LDNR forces have taken per capita by far the heaviest losses.

    Mariupol also is lost to Kiev. The lesson there for Kiev is that if you want to keep your cities, don’t garrison them with soldiers such as Azov. Again, no matter what the Russians or Americans decide, the people of Mariupol will no longer accept Kiev rule. That is surely obvious.

    So too, it seems, with some other parts of Eastern Ukraine. This is an eight year civil war the results of which have now been settled. It’ll be difficult for us in the West to accept that. That is because we did not know it was a civil war and we did not know why or how that war was waged, but accept it we must.

    This is a good time to end the war because more of Ukraine will be lost else. And soldiers, the majority of whom are not Right Sector and the like, are getting killed for no reason but the obstinacy of the Western powers.

    It’s also a good time to end the war for Biden. That’s because most of us in the West believe that Russia wants to take the whole of the Ukraine. It doesn’t, and won’t, but a peace settlement that led to it not so doing could be portrayed as a victory for Biden in time for the midterms.

    Not brilliant, but it’s the best Washington and Brussels are going to get. Time to seize the moment and get it.

    • TTG says:


      “Oh, those devoted Western anti-imperialists on Twitter that openly root for an authoritarian regime very literally waging a brutal colonial war of conquest in the year 2022.
      All life is a mystery, indeed.”

      Those are the words of Illia Ponomarenko, a defense reporter with The Kyiv Independent. He reported from Kyiv since before the invasion and often from his native Donbas. I share in the puzzlement he expressed in this tweet.

      The idea that Russia never intended to take Kyiv and Kharkiv is a true “Fox and the Grapes” story. They sacrificed the flower of their VDV and tank forces as a ruse? They hoped to win the war there in a few days, at most, and lost their shirts in the attempt.

      The Russians will most likely take Severodonetsk and Lysychansk shortly as the Ukrainians are forced to retreat to their next prepared positions. The Russian ability to take Slovyansk and Kramatorsk are very much in doubt. Ukrainian forces are threatening the Russian supply hub at Izyum and are now within five miles. They also threaten the Russian supply route from Belgorod further north forcing the Russians to redeploy forces to protect that route. This is far from a Ukrainian disaster.

      Before 24 February, I also assumed Crimea was lost permanently, at least as permanently as the Baltics once were. I’m no longer convinced of that permamence. Nor is Kyiv. Your call for Ukraine and NATO to surrender is premature and, in my opinion, desperate. Freezing the conflict would only benefit Moscow. I’ll write soon about the growing partisan warfare behind the Russian lines. That aspect of Ukraine’s national resistance is just now coming into its own.

      • English Outsider says:

        I don’t like talking about the military side of things, TTG, because as you know it’s not stuff I’ve ever taken much interest in, let alone read up on or have any experience with. What I can say is that I certainly disagree with such military analysis as I see in the press over here. Our journalists have a very odd way of doing what they call analysis. They guess what the Russian “plan” is and then claim victory when the Russians don’t follow it!

        But it’s looked from the start as if the Russian and LDNR military have the matter well in hand. The sole difficulty they face is that of dealing with the hostage type warfare Kiev employs. But that difficulty was overcome surprisingly quickly and economically in Mariupol. We feared a Raqqa but got an East Aleppo and better.

        No idea how they did it but with the population on their side, and the city ringed to prevent forces getting in or out, they did do it and there’s no reason to doubt they can do it elsewhere. I hope they don’t have to. Economical, yes, but scarcely bloodless.

        Kiev’s practice of stubbornly remaining in positions they should long since have retreated from also plays into the hands of their opponents. All the Russians and LDNR forces need to do at present is remain more or less where they are while Kiev delivers up to them in the Donbas more men and weapons to be destroyed or captured. Even if Kiev were to allow their forces to retreat, that would take them across open country where they lose the advantage of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as cover and are mercilessly exposed to Russian artillery and rocketry.

        I don’t think NATO ever trained the Kiev forces up for this sort of war. Seems they were surprised it’s lasted as long as it has, or at least I’ve seen remarks to that effect.. They were expecting a faster collapse and then recourse to the partisan warfare you mention. But surely that could only work if the population were on the side of Kiev.

        That isn’t the case any longer in the Donbas. I’d hope a peace could be agreed before we find out whether it’s the case elsewhere in the Ukraine. I noted a demonstration or march in Odessa. That wasn’t dispersed as far as I know, so even there much of the population might be relieved to be free from Kiev rule.

        On the all important economic front, this isn’t a sanctions war the United States can win. That’s because it can’t be won without Europe and Europe can’t stay the course. Europe is politically and economically vulnerable in a way the US is not and I don’t believe Washington has taken that sufficiently into account.

        Please don’t think I take that line because I don’t like the EU. I don’t, certainly, but am in fact very much pro-Europe. That doesn’t blind me to the fact that the place is in one hell of a mess and simply isn’t up to taking the strain of this sort of trade and economic war. Biden would do well to accept that and save what he can from the debacle.

        • TTG says:


          Moscow wouldn’t be sacking and arresting their generals and admirals if all was going according to plan. The general charged with taking Kharkiv was among the sacked. He wouldn’t have gotten sacked if that was meant to be a feint.

          Both Ukraine and NATO were preparing for a possible Russian invasion and counted on a sizable, if not full, occupation. NATO was pleasantly surprised that Ukraine’s forces were able to do as well as they have. They still prepared for a protracted war of national resistance. I doubt Moscow expected that.

          On the economic front, we have months to go. By Winter, we’ll see who’s inconvenienced and strained and who’s sucking bilge water.

          • Fred says:


            “By Winter, we’ll see who’s inconvenienced and strained and who’s sucking bilge water.”

            Well gas is pushing $5 a gallon, diesel $6 (and is already $8/gallon in CA). There is a national baby formula shortage, and a recession. How’s the rubble and are the Russians out of gas at home already?

          • TTG says:


            Those prices still aren’t stopping people from clogging the highways for vacation travel. Beyond the poor who are forced to make truly tough decisions, we’re just a nation of whiners. Russia’s inflation and impending recession are shaping up to be far worse than ours.

          • jld says:

            “Russia’s inflation and impending recession are shaping up to be far worse than ours.”
            And in another thread:
            “I haven’t the slightest idea how this national and international world of high finance works. “
            So, which is which?

  12. Christian J. Chuba says:

    “They [the Ukrainians] also threaten the Russian supply route from Belgorod further north forcing the Russians to redeploy forces to protect that route. – TTG”

    There is no threat until they reach Belgorod or put it under fire control. Belgorod itself is the only road hub in the area. If Ukraine was able to sustain an artillery barrage at Belgorod then that would be a big deal but this has not happened. An occasional strike, it not a barrage.

    • TTG says:


      The supply route can be interdicted anywhere along the line from Belgorod to Izyum. The chance of Ukraine pushing their counterattack past the Russian border and on to Belgorod is practically nil. The possibility of cutting the line between Vovchansk and Kupyansk is real. The possibility of putting that line under artillery fire is even more real.

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