“… Bakhmut Plan Collapses: Ukraine”

A Ukrainian flag in a military vehicle is pictured on December 26, 2022 in Bakhmut, Ukraine. A Ukrainian military leader in the region said Monday that “thousands” of Russians have already died in Bakhmut, adding that it has become a “symbolic” mission rather than a strategic one.

“Thousands of Russian troops have already died in the continued battle of Bakhmut, according to a Ukrainian close to the action.

Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, said Monday on his Telegram page that the city under the Ukrainian flag has become a new military home for Russian paratroopers who were transferred from Kherson and are now fighting in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Mobilized troops who trained for two months in the Russian Federation “can only slightly halt the offensive of the [Ukraine] Armed Forces,” he added, saying “they will not change the general picture.”

“It is no longer even a strategic military plan, although there is such a thing, but a rather symbolic matter—which the Kremlin regime loves very much,” Haidai said.

He also alleged that Chechen forces, led by Ramzan Kadyrov, and the mercenary Wagner Group helmed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, want to prove themselves to Putin—who Haidai referred to as “the bunker grandpa.”

Kadyrov has called for Ukraine’s cities to be “erased from the earth” while also being critical of strategies put forward by Putin and other Russian generals.

video posted Monday on Twitter by journalist Christo Grozev reportedly shows Wagner mercenaries calling Russia Ministry of Defense Chief of Staff a “piece of s***” due to a lack of ammunition available among Russian forces in Bakhmut.”

Russia Losing Thousands of Soldiers As Bakhmut Plan Collapses: Ukraine (msn.com)

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12 Responses to “… Bakhmut Plan Collapses: Ukraine”

  1. Mark Logan says:

    On the topic of “things falling apart”, something from the Dec 24 ISW Ukraine page caught my eye:

    “Ukrainian intelligence continues to suggest that the Russian military is not following proper command structures or procedures. Chief of the Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kyrylo Budanov stated that Prigozhin formed an alliance with the Commander of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, Army General Sergey Surovikin.[12] Budanov noted that both Prigozhin and Surovikin are rivals of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and that Prigozhin used the alliance to his advantage to receive heavy weapons from Russian Armed Forces for Wagner forces. The allocation of military resources should in principle rest with the Minister of Defense rather than the theater commander, although Surovikin could have the authority to make transfers once equipment enters the theater. The Prigozhin–Surovikin alliance is plausible given that Prigozhin had previously praised Surovikin for his efforts to save the collapsing Soviet Union.[13]”

    The GRU smells trouble and is raising a red flag, it appears.

  2. Fourth and Long says:

    If you know how to go through the contortions of autotranslating in realtime on a Youtube app then you can follow this in English. Otherwise for Russian language speakers. It’s from a Russian language channel which is very much Opposition. The gentleman interviewed is reputedly a former FSB Colonel. He says that S-300 Anti-aircraft systems have already been reconfigured to shoot at ground targets and have been shipped to the front. (Leaving facilities undefended, one would think, though he leaves this conclusion to viewers). He emphasizes that the depletion of (military) resources is very real.


    GUDKOV: What to expect from the “reform” of the RF Armed Forces. Depletion of the Kremlin’s military resources.

    Dec 27
    Russian politician, opposition leader, deputy of the State Duma (2001-2012), retired colonel of the FSB of Russia Gennady Gudkov, on the air of the FREEDOM TV channel, noted that there would be no completion of mobilization in the Russian Federation. He stressed that Putin wants to drag out the war indefinitely, but his military resources are depleted. Gudkov gave his assessment of cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, and also emphasized that the Iranian “Shaheds” are not a weapon of war, but of terror. The speaker answered the question of what to expect from the “reform” of the RF Armed Forces and commented on what is behind the confrontation between Prigogine and Gerasimov.


    • borko says:


      that would explain the repeated success of drone strikes against Russia’s strategic bomber airbases.
      Putin wanted to demilitarize Ukraine, but thanks to NATO support, Russia is the one being demilitarized.

      I’ve heard no mention of significant new industrial capacities coming online to make up for the expenditure.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        He speaks a bit to that last issue you raise in response to the interviewer’s questions about the recently announced military reorganization to go back to divisions and add large numbers of personell. He doesn’t know what will happen but finds the prospects dubious given the damages of offshoring of wealth and productive capacity ongoing since 1991 and the fact that Serdukov’s “reform” of the Russian military was an unmitigated disaster. It’s a country under occupation by its “elites” whose upper reaches are crooks and are described by many as being hostile to the wider population. The design should have been to build and maintain a healthy middle class. Ask our (I’m a US citizen) elites about that.

  3. borko says:

    Interesting talk with Andrew Milburn, a retired USMC colonel and the head of the Mozart Group.


  4. Sam says:

    Russians launch ‘human wave’ attacks in Ukraine: Putin’s troops are cut down in continued WW1-style fighting for the town of Bakhmut


    I don’t get the military significance of Bakhmut that the Russian army & the Wagner “prisoner” force is willing to sacrifice so many lives.

    • TTG says:


      When the Russians still held Izyum, there was a military significance to taking Bakhmut in a plan to further take Kramatorsk and Slovyansk in attacks south from the Izyum salient and north from Bakhmut. It would have forced Ukrainians to withdraw from a large part of Donetsk Oblast or face being surrounded and captured. With the loss of Izyum, that plan vaporized.

      Now the significance of Bakhmut is symbolic and political. It has become a “fortress” to Kyiv and will be defended. It has become a potential victory for Prigozhin and his Wagner Group to increase his power in the Kremlin.

    • Leith says:

      TTG & Sam –

      I agree that the significance of Bakhmut is now mainly symbolic and political.

      In the beginning I think it started because someone on the general staff in Moscow saw that it was an important crossroad. Many of the major roads of northern Donetsk Oblast pass through the city. And doesn’t the Donetsk to Luhansk RR run through Bakhmut?

      • borko says:

        Maybe there is more to this than just symbolism.
        Do we know how much manpower and equipment Ukraine expends in Bakhmut ?

        Russians have not had much success in maneuver warfare in this war. Having a single place where they can play the attrition game with the enemy might be convenient for them at this point.

        • blue peacock says:

          “Having a single place where they can play the attrition game with the enemy might be convenient for them at this point.”

          Bakhmut is a side-show. For the Ukranians it symbolizes national resistance against all odds. Similar to their defense of Severodontesk. For the Russians it appears they are trying to eke out any battlefield victory to claim the tide is changing.

          The reality is that even if the Ukranian forces evacuate Bakmut, it will not change the dynamic of the front line.

  5. Fourth and Long says:

    From Ria Novosti today (translation of paragraph by app) – an analysis of a 16 page Rand corporation report of this month (December, 2022). You will be able to easily autotranslate in most browsers. I focus on the brief paragraph below. Rand acknowledges that attacks within Russia are dangerously provocative and councels to keep them to a bare if not zero minimum. Therefore read the paragraph again. Is the US government being manipulated by let’s say, an ally, to enter into a direct clash with Russia by means of these attacks? America gets nuked and the ally picks up the pieces of the world? “Sounds paranoid,” said the little doormouse. “Little doormouse, who are you working for?” responded F & L.

    The U.S. expects to hit Russia with impunity:
    RAND: The U.S. may strike Russia in case of escalation to protect NATO allies
    The option of “more proportional”, that is, a superior kinetic blow to the territory of Russia is also considered. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that Moscow does not get the impression that these strikes are a prelude to a full-scale war with the United States and NATO: “To this end, the United States should avoid targeting control and control units, bomber bases or early warning radars.”

    Rand publication referenced above:

    This might still work – entire article translation:

    • different clue says:

      If America and Russia were to have a 2-way nuke war strictly between eachother, what “ally” would hope to pick up pieces?

      It seems to me that Israel would be far too small to pick up any pieces. If Russia and America held a nuke war over EUrope’s head, would EUrope like to be the lucky survivor who picks up the pieces? Would China sneak in to pick up pieces?

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