Better maps of the war in Ukraine – TTG

Finding informative maps of this war has been a challenge. There were some excellent sources for Syria with good detail, but I haven’t been able to find an equivalent for Ukraine. Yesterday I found the map above. It was compiled by someone with the twitter handle Jomini of the West (@JominiW). He appears to be a military war gamer hobbyist living in Maryland. I know nothing else about him, but he appears to have a good grasp of the basics and probably has decent historical and technical research skills. His maps include main supply lines (MSRs) and unit designations/locations and are a significant improvement over all those maps merely showing red ink blots representing territory supposedly under full Russian control, especially those maps produced by Russian sources. The commentary accompanying his maps are also worth reading.

The listed units do not include any of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) which are a major part of Ukraine’s strategy of national resistance along with her conventional armed forces. Not only has the TDF been instrumental in blunting several Russian armored assaults, but is busy ambushing Russian convoys behind the lines, collecting abandoned equipment and supplies and destroying what they can’t recover. They’ve been trained for years to conduct just those kinds of missions. That’s what’s going on in the red ink blots on those simplistically silly maps. 

Another good primer on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a posting on The Fivecoat Consulting Group web page. The author, David Fivecoat, offers a detailed comparison of US plans and actual progress during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Russia’s invasion, a concise breakdown of the battalion tactical group (BTG) along with current Ukrainian combat brigade organization, a detailed and thoughtful map of Russia’s plan for the invasion prepared by Jomini of the West, and a good discussion of battle damage assessment of both Russian and Ukrainian forces.  

https://www.thefivecoatconsultinggroup.com/the-coronavirus-crisis/ukraine-context-d15

This is from the bio page of the author’s website: “Previously, Colonel Fivecoat served twenty-four years as an infantry officer, leading men and women during contingency operations in Kosovo and Bosnia, three combat tours in Iraq, and a combat tour commanding a battalion in Afghanistan – over 41 months in combat. He culminated his service by overseeing the gender integration of the US Army’s Ranger School. In his free time, he skis, competes in triathlons, and is an avid bicyclist. He resides in Columbus, Georgia.” Sounds qualified to write on these subjects. Enjoy.

TTG

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23 Responses to Better maps of the war in Ukraine – TTG

  1. Leith says:

    Colonel Fivecoat seems to use Jomini’s maps. Regarding the War Aims map, don’t like his simplified terminology: “Geostrategic Points, Decisive Strategic Points, Decisive Geographic Points. I get the point. But suspect much is inside gobbledygook out of the Puzzle Palace on the Potomac. I guess I should have gone to War College instead of mulling around at lower levels of the green machine.

    Meanwhile Putin lit Lenten candles in Moscow yesterday as his Air Force bombed the six-hundred year old Ukrainian Orthodox Monastery at Svyatogorsk. He suspected the monks were neo-Nazis maybe? Or de-nazification of the refugees (mostly women and children,and all Russian speaking) the monks were sheltering there?

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/Svyatogorsk?src=hashtag_click

      • TTG says:

        Fred,

        Yep. More blowback from our assassination of Qasem Soleimani. And what impeccable timing.

        • The Beaver says:

          TTG

          It was a Mossad training outfir close to the consulate. In retaliation for the deaths of 2 Iranians in Damascus on March 7th by Israel.

          • TTG says:

            The Beaver,

            Ah. Much better. It would have been a bit awkward for our efforts to get Iran back into the oil market if the missiles were aimed at us.

        • Fred says:

          TTG,

          We’re trying to get Iran back in the oil market? Why, does American oil cause global warming or is there some other reason our government forbids domestic production increases?

    • TTG says:

      Leith,

      That particular terminology is new to me, but I get the ideas presented as almost universal. I’d have to review several current field manuals and CGSC course material to see what we now call this stuff.

      I do remember my first realization of military doublespeak during IOAC in 1980. While explaining how the then new doctrine of active defense was supposed to work in Europe, the instructor continually used the term “servicing targets from stable firing platforms” to describe the use of M113 mounted TOWs to destroy Soviet tanks at maximum range… over and over again across Germany. We questioned how this was supposed to work over broken, forested terrain with smoke and suppressive artillery fire. How was an exposed gunner going to repeatedly keep a clear line of sight over 3,000 meters in those conditions? This was before night sights and thermal sights for the TOWs. The instructor never had a good answer to that. We had two Egyptian colonels in our class, one was a motorized rifle company commander at the battle of Chinese Farm. Both were graduated of advanced Soviet military schools. We asked them to opine on the chances of this active defense doctrine to stop a Soviet attack. They tried to be tactful, but doubted it would work well in real battle over an extended period of time.

    • optimax says:

      I am not too sure about the veracity of the information coming out of Ukraine from either side, but especially Ukraine state sponsored info in Donetsk. The village woman in the following video claims it was Ukrainians that fired on her village and not Russians.
      Psy-ops, false flags, lazy reporting make for a cohesive narrative.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUwXnBDOmeY

      • Leith says:

        Optimax –

        “PL news today that staged that video is a well known pro-Kremlin fake news outlet. The guy that runs it, Patrick Lancaster, has been trashing America and touting Russia for years on websites funded by Russia’s FSB. He has lately been accompanying DNR/LNR militias and Russian troops.

        You are right about : “Psy-ops, false flags, lazy reporting”. Be careful of who you trust.

        • optimax says:

          Why not listen to both sides? Yes, he’s anti-Ukraine –he’s been reporting from Donetsk for years and is sympathetic to pro-Russian people there. How many MSM reporters are on the ground in Donetsk?

          Here’s another video from PL that seems fairly balanced. The first few minutes are worth watching and then at 14:30 is a refugee who lost her husband to the war and doesn’t care witch side is “right”, only that it has destroyed her village, her. F… them both she says.

          There’s a Rand report that I will search for published 2019 that is a map for destabilizing Russia, in which Ukraine is the sacrificial red calf. Will link to when found.

          • English Outsider says:

            Optimax – this one?

            https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html

            This passage is relevant-

            “Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”

            The earlier Brzezinski – he changed his mind later – called for the reduction of the RF to a smaller country, that in which the greater part of the population lived but certainly not a sixth of the world.

            Such material has been pouring out of the think tanks and the foreign policy establishment for years. The Russians read it as well. Hence Putin’s recent outburst in his TV discussion with a Russian dissident to the effect that the West wants to reduce Russia to the old Muscovy.

            But in practical terms this current war can be attributed at least in part to this – ” … would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict.”

            It wasn’t just about NS2. We didn’t calibrate carefully enough.

  2. mcohen says:

    The 18 the march russia will call it quits.most objectives met.However further escalations by the e u countries with attacks on Russia will show the true intentions of Western interests

  3. English Outsider says:

    TTG – the BBC also noticing that we’re doubling down in Europe:-

    “The German chancellor has now pledged to spend more – €100bn (£84bn) more – on defence. What that means is that this country will soon become the biggest military power in Europe and the third biggest in the world – behind only China and the United States.”

    “This war is re-shaping how Europe’s most powerful country thinks. That will have dramatic consequences which are only just beginning to be thought through.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60743342

    Looks therefore as if the original Russian security demands are not going to be met. I believe there’s now a significant chance that the Russians will bring in maximum counter sanctions.

    • TTG says:

      EO,

      Putin’s security goal of dissecting and neutering NATO definitely blew up in his face. The US and European alliance is more united than I’ve ever seen it and is now embarked on rearming itself. It’s a Wiley E. Coyote moment for Putin for sure. If he does bring maximum counter sanctions, meaning cutting off the gas flow to Europe, it will hurt. It will also hurt Russia. The gas fields that supply Europe are not yet connected to China. That requires the completion of Power of Siberia 2. That pipeline is years away from completion and is projected to begin pumping gas to China in 2031. And it will have to be completed without Western funding or technology. It will be completed, but Putin could be dead by then or at least out of office.

      • Fred says:

        TTG,

        ” The US and Europe is more united ….”

        I too haven’t seen that, at least not since the war for WMD in Iraq. Then there is the NATO unity, with Poland and Hungary both being sanctioned by other NATO members for not being democratic enough:
        https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/16/europe/eu-poland-hungary-funding-intl/index.html
        I know, that’s the EU, not NATO, though almost all NATO members are in the EU. But that was Febraury, in March:
        https://gript.ie/eu-votes-to-sanction-poland-as-it-struggles-with-1-5m-refugees/

        Fortunately for the US we are energy independent and nobody here is hurt by what Putin does with Russian oil……

        • blue peacock says:

          Fred,

          Let’s not forget the “cheese eating surrender monkey” and the renaming to freedom fries when the French called BS on Dubya’s Iraq gambit on false pretenses.

      • English Outsider says:

        I think it’s the time factor, TTG. Your country can tighten its belt and get by, and that right now if put to it. Plenty of food, plenty of energy if the Net Zero people let you get at it. So also the Russians.

        The Euros are more than capable of switching from Russian energy. They’d planned to do that anyway. But they can’t do it tomorrow. The new Festung Europa we’re seeing emerging is vulnerable as the others are not, when one considers that time factor.

  4. optimax says:

    English Outsider

    The result of our pressure on Russia has been to unbalance Putin. A dangerous thing to do.

    • English Outsider says:

      I must confess I don’t see it that way. I believe they know what they’re doing and are going to do it. It’s going to be very difficult for Zelenski to agree any sort of settlement. He’s under great pressure from the extremists and there are some concessions NATO won’t let him make if they can help it.

      What has shaken me is how much politics has changed in Germany. February 21st. That was the day the world changed. I could not have guessed it would change in that respect so fast.

  5. Gabriel says:

    I thought I would add the map below, as a complement rather than a replacement, for the excellent recommendations in this post and the comments. The “value add” is that map is pan/zoomable a la Google Maps (as distinct to the static images used by Jomini of the West and others), so it can be useful to navigate the area of operations in a single place.

    https://www.map.army/?ShareID=1009214&UserType=RO-8gvc7X3i

    (The unit counters are, alas, fairly uninformative, but they are updated with some regularity and I think help to convey a general sense of where the two sides are located.)

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