Regarding the situation at Donetsk frontline (Ido not have any information about other frontlines):
Area south of Izyum:
Continuing are fierce fights along the whole perimeter of the Russian foothold. Tactical advances can be observed everywhere. According to incoming data, the most fierce fights are happening on the right flank – in the area of Velika Kamyshevakha village (and possibly, directly in the village), but also at the spearhead of the offensive – in the middle of the foothold – in the area of (and possibly, inside) Nova Dmitrovka village. After capturing this locality our forces will directly reach the Barvenkovo-Sloviansk highway and create a danger for its takeover (which will not be easy, since localities along this highway merge into almost a continuous agglomeration). It’s important to note that fights are of a continuous, close nature. The enemy has enough manpower to prevent Russian troops from making deep breakthroughs despite the lengthening of the frontline in this area.
At the same time, the enemy continues pulling out their forces from the foothold that is still under their control on the left bank of the Sever Donets river – from Lyman-Yampol area and the Severodonetsk salient, leaving the positions most protruding to the east, between Severodonetsk and Popasna (where fierce fights continue).
It’s presumed that soon (today or tomorrow) the enemy will leave Lyman and withdraw its troops to reinforce flanks of the group – to Barvenkovo and Sloviansk. Russian and DPR Armed Forces were unable to prevent this and surround the enemy forces.
Overall, the enemy is defending competently, fiercly, it controls the situation and its troops. No panic among UAF troops is observed. It’s clear that their bet is on WINNING TIME AND DEALING MAXIMUM DAMAGE TO STRIKE FORCES OF RUSSIAN AND DPR AF – by slowly forfeiting territories.
Ahead of Russian troops in this territory is a huge and well prepared for defending Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration. The UAF will certainly not give it up for as long as they can, defending it as a “besieeged fortress” if necessary. (In this regard very high importance is given to remainings of the Mariupol garrison – they should not be freed up and transferred in anycase, otherwise the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk garrison will be defending for just as long and desperately, if not longer and even more desperately). However, this “fortress” still needs to be surrounded, which is not easy with existing limited forces and such slow tempo where the enemy is able to freely withdraw their troops and prepare new defense positions.
In the south – in the area of Huliaipole and Orekhovo, the situation is without significant changes. The southern part of the pincer has stalled.
In the central area – near Donetsk, the situation is generally without changes. It’s quiet in most areas, fights are only occurring north of Avdeevka where DPR Armed Forces have insignificant tactical successes.
The general conclusion in unfortunately not joyful – the expected (by the enemy) offensive of the Russian group to encircle the Donetsk group of Ukrainian armed forces met fierce resistance and will most likely not lead to a complete encirclement and destruction of the enemy group (unless 2-3 tank corps “fall from the sky” to urgently break through the frontline and link up deep in the UAF rears). The “Cannes” certainly did’t happen.
In the best case scenario, the enemy will be slowly “pushed out” of Donbas with large losses (for both sides of course) across many weeks and possibly many month. This will allow them, without major rush, by summer, to create and introduce into the fight their strategic reserves en-masse at any chosen area.
– translation by @mdmitri91
Comment: What does Igor Girkin, aka Igor Strelkov, have on Putin? He is consistently getting away with things in interviews and in writing that paint the Russian invasion as a complete fiasco overseen by complete morons. I got to hand it to him, he has balls of steel to continue to talk like this while openly living in Russia. The above is his latest assessment published yesterday.
I agree with Strelkov. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting a masterful defensive war at the moment. They are buying time for their strategic reserves to prepare for going on the offensive at the place and time of their choosing.
Strelkov writes regularly on his Telegram channel, if you’re into that kind of thing. Often links to his postings are available through other online venues, as in the linked Politico article, and are often translated by @mdmitri on his Twitter account. If you want an account of the war’s progress by a dyed in the wool Russian nationalist, Strelkov’s your man. But be warned, his views will do little to soothe the souls of Russophiles or the West’s many Putin fluffers.