Ukraine guerilla and Long-Range attacks on Ruusian forces continue …

” … on Thursday, the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said that it had struck an ammunition depot in the village of Bilohirka, near the front line of fighting in the Kherson region. The rocket strike is the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted logistics in the Russian-occupied south—part of a strategy to starve Russian troops in the region of supplies and force them to withdraw from the territory they are holding west of the Dnipro River.”

“A day earlier, the Ukrainian military posted video to social media that appeared to show the aftermath of a long-range rocket strike on Nova Kakhovka, also in the Kherson region. And on Tuesday, pro-Ukrainian saboteurs destroyed an ammunition depot in Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014. Video on social media Thursday also showed large explosions overnight in Russian-occupied Amvrosiivka, in the eastern Donetsk region; Ukrainian officials didn’t immediately comment on the cause.

As Ukrainian strikes inside Russian-held territory increase, Russian forces are attempting to crack down on pro-Ukrainian insurgents. A Ukrainian army veteran was arrested in the Kherson region on suspicion of sending locations of Russian troops and bases to Ukrainian forces, Russian state-run news agencies reported on Thursday. In addition, Russia’s FSB intelligence agency on Wednesday said it had detained six Russian citizens in Crimea who belonged to a cell that spread what it called terrorist ideology with the support of Ukrainian emissaries, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.”

Commrny: IMO opinion the Ukies should aim at forcing surrenders. pl

Ukraine Strikes Russian Arms Depot Ahead of Talks With Turkey, U.N. – WSJ

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34 Responses to Ukraine guerilla and Long-Range attacks on Ruusian forces continue …

  1. d74 says:

    The line of open graves seems long. And this is the third or fourth one.

    I have seen similar graves in very long lines and large numbers of lines, each with the coffin waiting on 2 trestles, a big bouquet of flowers and a Ukrainian flag on each of the coffins.
    Very roughly, 200 graves.

    It is frightening.

  2. Jake says:

    Will these attacks register as ‘terrorist’-attacks? Or ‘partisan’-attacks? And I’m not asking those on one side, or the other. If these saboteurs and their ‘overlords’ destroying valuable infrastructure are seen as liberators, they will be able to turn things around. If they are seen as terrorists in the employ of the ‘Devil Incarnate’, things could turn very ugly indeed! Even suspects may be chased down the road by angry mobs. And anyone caught red-handed could ‘burn at the stake’. Is that the plan?
    My honest feeling is that the people in the Crimea area see these ‘Special Operation Forces’ as the enemy, which leaves me with this odd feeling that NATO is throwing their own operatives under the bus, as well as the country they say they are defending. Why?

    • Pat Lang says:

      “‘terrorist’-attacks? Or ‘partisan’-attacks?” semantic drivel

      • Jake says:

        Certainly not, Pat. From an operational point of view you are correct. But to win a war, you need the hearts and minds of the people. And not just those who pay your bills as an operative. While creating havoc, both parties may promise to ‘Build Back Better’. But do you trust the party which is know to break every treaty, accord, promise and vow, while invading countries at will? I’m not so sure NATO is seen as the better party if you are after peace of mind as a Ukrainian when you also happen to be Russian speaking, and culturally close to the Russians, left without proper representation for eight years, like those people targeted.

        • Pat Lang says:

          “you need the hearts and minds of the people.” Horse shit! Did thw Soviets and Western Allies have the hearts and minds of the German people” Hw about the Jap people?

          • Pat Lang says:

            You sound like a typical counterinsurgency freak. We tried that is Afghanistan and the insurgents and their supporters kicked our ass.

          • cobo says:

            Back in the eighties, I had this t-shirt. It read, “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” Tell me at what time in history, and in what cultural setting, that hasn’t been true.

          • Mishkilji says:


            “Tell me at what time in history, and in what cultural setting, that hasn’t been true.”

            The post-Civil War South in the USA?

          • Pat Lang says:


            In the case of the American WBS/CW the leaders of the South were wise enough to refrain from calling for a levee en masse which would have triggered an unending partisan war.

          • Mishkilji says:


            According to Mark Grimsley, the South mobilized nearly 80% of its eligible male population and nearly 10% died in the war. The key factor was Lee’s decision not to wage a guerilla war as he weighed surrendering to Grant.

          • Pat Lang says:

            All the major leaders were agreed on that both political and military

        • ltexpat says:

          Espionage and sabotage directed at military targets and infrastructure necessary to support military operations are legitimate acts of war, not terrorism. However, since they are performed by persons not wearing identifiable uniforms, spies and saboteurs have never, ever, anywhere been considered legitimate combatants and, since the dawn of warfare, are subject to execution if captured in the act, though not if later captured in uniform.

          If identical actions are performed while in uniform, they are not espionage and sabotage but reconnaissance and interdiction.

          Actions primarily directed at civilians are terrorism, and are illegal under the laws of armed conflict. In this context, it should be noted that local government officials performing their normal public duties and police engaged in routine law enforcement duties are also civilians.

          • Leith says:

            ltexpat –

            Key points being: “performing their normal public duties” and “engaged in routine law enforcement duties”.

            Those traitors being targeted are doing neither. They are actively aiding and abetting Putin’s neo-KGB with identifying and arresting Ukrainian patriots, who end up being tortured, killed, or disappeared.

        • ltexpat says:


          ” “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” Tell me at what time in history, and in what cultural setting, that hasn’t been true.”

          Ireland: 1169 to the present day.
          That is 853 years.
          The British loyalists in Ireland were and are the descendants of Scots and English colonists imported to ensure the existence of a loyal population from which to raise militias when the native Irish savages dared to rebel.

          They English may have had us by the balls, they never had our hearts and minds.

          The Scots-Irish of the US were Scots colonists in Ireland. Did they leave Ireland because they did not want to be tools of the English, or because they couldn’t put down the Irish?

          • Bill Roche says:

            Congrats … you got the date right, 1169. Very few do. On that date a recon mission led by Fitz Godebert d’Roche departing from southern Wales, landed north of Cork and thus the Norman invasion of Ireland was on. The shit hit the fan the following year and after much killing, Normans controlled southern Ireland until about 1600. So take the 853 years and subtract about 400. Can’t blame the English for what the Normans did. As to the Scotch Irish, they were descendants of Sottish troops Oliver Cromwell left in Northern Ireland after his conquest. Their presence in Ulster is the reason there is not an Irish Republic over the entire island. You are correct about the distinction of “minds” and “balls”. You can trace Irish violent resistance to England from 1600 to 1916/1919. BTW, w/o the IRA, by one name or another, there would not have been a free Irish Republic. So it appears the Brits had neither Irish body parts. It also appears, to some, that the IRA were terrorists. Or were the terrorists the Brits? Were the men who killed Montbatten eliminating an occupying gen’l of a foreign invader or were they awful terrorists? Montbatten’s name suggest Norman parentage, perhaps his family was part of the original Norman conquest. History closes on the story of the Norman conquest of Ireland with Montbatten’s killing?

          • Leith says:

            Bill Roche –

            Any relationship to Fitz Godebert?

            But I thought the history went deeper than 1159. Didn’t Norwegian Vikings colonize parts of Ireland three centuries earlier than the Normans? They had also ruled back then in Scotland’s Shetlands, Orkneys, and Hebrides.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            Bill Roche

            I guess “Mountbatten” was supposed to suggest Norman ancestry. It’s the Anglicized version of “Battenburg” adopted around the same time the house of “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” was ditched IFO “Windsor”, during WWI when German names were less popular. Neat huh.

            I lived for a short time in Yeats country, right near Mullaghmore where they got Mountbatten, and used to cycle across the border back roads to see friends in the North. It was in the wake of that assassination (and the IRA’s most successful attack on the British army the same day) that Margaret Thatcher decided to treat republican prisoners as criminals, not POW’s.

            I understand there are still murals depicting Cromwell in loyalist towns. Maybe the two sides will come together some time in the next 853 years.

          • ltexpat says:

            1169, it was the Normans, as you say. But the Normans ruled England, came from England, and though they still spoke a kind of French, we don’t split hairs over it. The Anglo Saxons never really got rid of the Normans. And the Gaelic for English, Sasenach, actually means Saxon! They came from England, they were English.

            And yes, the conquest took about 440 years, for much of which the Pale around Dublin was fortified and had to be defended against the “uncivilised savages” who had the oldest written vernacular in W Europe, a sophisticated legal system, (Brehon Law) and who had done much to preserve knowledge during the Dark Ages.

            The Normans outside Dublin became largely assimilated and intermarried into in Irish society, adopting the Gaelic language and customs. By the 15th century, Irish-Norman allegiance to the King in London was very nominal. There was no central administration, the Irish Gaelic chieftans and Norman Lords ran their lands as they saw fit, within the bounds of custom, culture and Gaelic law, and most of the island was controlled by Irish Gaelic chieftans. The regions outside the Pale were effectively independent, but not united or organised.
            It was the competition with Spain that drove England to prioritise and complete the conquest during the 16th century.

            Bottom line, “hearts and minds” is not applicable to an insurgency motivated by nationalist resistance to a foreign invader.

          • Leith says:

            ltexipat –

            The Normans were invited by an Irish king of Leiminster, Dermot MacMurragh. He was a Irish traitor who collaborated with England’s King Henry and with the Normans.

    • Al says:

      Jake, as it always has been, “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”.

      According to the Tory’s who fled to Canada after homes, shops, farms vandalized or burnt to round, our Revolutionary heros, our Freedom Fighters were terrorists

      The Canadian schoolbooks still have quite a different perspective of America in the 1700’s than we in the States do.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Jake, NATO d/n invade Russia. NATO is helping Ukraine which was invaded by Russia. Russia can end the death and destruction we all decry by returning w/i their borders. No one prevents them from doing that.

  3. TTG says:

    The Russians are trying to frame the partisan/SOF attacks as the work of “cells of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization (an Islamist fundamentalist political organization that has historically been active in Central Asia and in Crimea amongst the Crimean Tatar community and is banned in Russia) in Dzhankoi and Yalta. (from ISW) This indicates to me that at least some elements of the Crimean Tatars are part of the Ukrainian SOF sponsored partisans. You can’t ask for a better situation, an indigenous population with every reason to see the occupiers gone.

    • JamesT says:


      This approach works well in the short term but I am not sure how well it works in the long term. Say we back a particular Islamic partisan to fight the Russians. Let’s call him ‘Osama bin Laden’. We supply him with equipment and more importantly we train his men in how to be effective partisans. They defeat the Russians and the Russians withdraw. Hooah.

      Then a few years later we need to project force into the region. Those same partisans fight our troops (or more likely our proxies) and we have to explain this to the American People. So we start referring to the same group of fighters by a new name and pretend that they are different people with different motivations rather than the same people with the same motivations.

      But the American people are not stupid and start to figure out that their leaders are lying to them. That can’t be permitted – so we go to the executives at the social media companies and launch an effort with them to censor dissenting opinions. Pretty soon we are spending more money on carrying out information operations against the American people than we are spending on fighting the Russians.

      I am not sure that the Russians are the big losers in this scenario.

  4. Leith says:

    “Ammunition depot on fire in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. According to Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, the cause of the fire is being established. No casualties were reported.”

    Gives new meaning to the old Hit Parade jingle: “Light Up a Lucky…It’s Light-Up Time”.

  5. Al says:

    Excerpt from NY Times, Behind Enemy Lines, Ukrainians Tell Russians ‘You Are Never Safe’, Aug 17th.

    … Under a Ukrainian law passed by Parliament last year, the military’s Special Operations Forces are authorized to train, arm and pay secret combatants fighting on Ukrainian territory in time of war. In the law, they are called “community volunteers.”

    The partisans say they are civilians and the legal basis for their activity is therefore regulated under the Ukrainian law, not the laws of war that prohibit, for example, a soldier from targeting a civilian official.

    But under international law civilians become combatants when they start taking part in hostilities. The partisans work for the government, even the military, and whether the murky area they inhabit does in fact fall under international law — and whether their activities violate those rules — is a matter for debate.

    Not all their activities are violent. Separately, two partisans operating in occupied southeastern Ukraine described a branch of the underground called Yellow Ribbon, which posts leaflets and spray paints graffiti.

    The bases on Ukrainian territory where operatives are trained are moved constantly to avoid discovery, according to a senior Ukrainian military official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military information.

    Each operative has a different a role to play, the official said: scouting a target, gathering intelligence on a target’s movements, and carrying out an attack. Individual cells are kept separate and do not know one another, lest a detained partisan reveal identities under interrogation.

    Two entities within the military are responsible for overseeing operations behind enemy lines, the official said: the military intelligence service, known as HUR, and Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces. An interagency task force oversees operations of both the intelligence agency and Special Operations Forces branches of the underground, what is known as the Resistance Movement, or Rukh Oporu in Ukrainian.

    The official described a poisoning in the Zaporizhzhia region that killed around 15 Russian soldiers and the sabotage of a grain elevator, in the Kherson region, that prevented Russian forces from stealing 60,000 tons of grain. Neither operation could be independently verified.

    Partisans were also behind an explosion on Saturday that disabled a railroad bridge connecting Melitopol to Crimea, halting the supply of military equipment coming into the Zaporizhzhia region.

    The partisans are searching for those they consider traitors, too.

    The Ukrainian underground in occupied territory considers police officers, municipal and regional government employees and teachers who agree to work under the Russian educational curriculum as collaborators, according to Svarog and another partisan using the nickname Viking. They said they did not see doctors, firefighters and employees of utility companies as traitors.

    Teachers are a focus now, with schools scheduled to open in September.

    “The Russians want to teach by their program, not the truth,” Viking said. “A child is vulnerable to propaganda and if raised in this program, will become an idiot like the Russians,” he said. “A teacher who agrees to teach by the Russian program is a collaborator.”

    Partisans will not attack teachers, he said, but have sought to humiliate them through leaflets they often post on utility poles with dark warnings for collaborators, as part of their psychological operations.

    One went up recently, he said, with the names and photographs of principals planning to open schools in September. It said: “For collaborating with the Russians, there will be payback.”

  6. Al says:

    Part 2, Excerpt from NY Times, Behind Enemy Lines, Ukrainians Tell Russians ‘You Are Never Safe’, Aug 17th.

    … “The goal is to show the occupiers that they are not at home, that they should not settle in, that they should not sleep comfortably,” said one guerrilla fighter, who spoke on condition that, for security reasons, he only be identified by his code name, Svarog, after a pagan Slavic god of fire.

    The Ukrainian military began training partisans in the months before the invasion, as Russia massed troops near the borders. The effort has paid off in recent weeks as Ukrainian forces are pressing a counteroffensive in the south, although Russian forces, with far greater advantages in heavy weapons, still surround Ukraine from the east and north.

    In recent days the Ukrainian military made Svarog and several other of the operatives available for interviews in person or online, hoping to highlight the partisans’ widening threat to Russian forces and signal to Western donors that Ukraine is successfully rallying local resources in the war, now nearly six months old. A senior Ukrainian military official familiar with the program also described the workings of the resistance.

    The Ukrainian military began training partisans in the months before the invasion, as Russia massed troops near the borders. The effort has paid off in recent weeks as Ukrainian forces are pressing a counteroffensive in the south, although Russian forces, with far greater advantages in heavy weapons, still surround Ukraine from the east and north.

    Ukrainian officials warned on Tuesday of the threat of a potential Russian attack from Belarus, noting a buildup of missile systems there, and said Russian forces were expending tens of thousands of rounds a day as they shelled hundreds of defensive positions in eastern and southern Ukraine.

    With little movement of the front lines, insurgent activity is now intensifying, as the fighters strike stealthily in environs they know intimately, using car bombs, booby traps and targeted killings with pistols — and then blending into the local population.

    Svarog said he was among the trainees in these public programs. Behind the scenes, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces were forming a more structured, and secret, program that included instruction on sabotage, explosives and stashing weapon caches in anticipation of Russia’s attack.

    After the invasion, Svarog said, he was directed to a storage shed outside Melitopol, where he found slabs of high explosives, detonators, Kalashnikov rifles, a grenade launcher and two pistols equipped with silencers.

    Melitopol, the southern Ukrainian town where Svarog operates, has since emerged as a center of the resistance. He recounted the careful casing of targets, followed by attacks.

    By Saturday, partisans had struck with explosives seven days in a row, according to the town’s exiled mayor, Ivan Fedorov, who boasted of the achievement to Ukrainian media as part of the more public embrace of partisan operations by officials.

    The attacks have been going on for several months. This spring, Svarog said, he and several members of the cell in Melitopol sneaked through the town at night to booby-trap a car in the parking lot of a Russian-controlled police station.

    Carrying wire cutters, tape and fishing line, the fighters moved through courtyards and back alleys to avoid Russian checkpoints.

    They first cut an electrical wire, blacking out a streetlight, then dashed quickly into the darkness where they planted a bomb, wrapped in tape with the sticky side facing outward, into a wheel well. The fishing line was taped both to the inside of the wheel and to a detonator, rigging the bomb to explode when the wheel turned.

    “Anybody who would drive that car would be a traitor,” Svarog said. “Nobody there is keeping public order.” The bomb killed one police officer and wounded another.

    In a strike last week, he said, his cell booby-trapped the car of Oleg Shostak, a Ukrainian who had joined the Russian political party United Russia in Melitopol. The insurgents targeted him because they suspected him of tailoring propaganda to appeal to local residents.

    Svarog, who said he did not take part in this particular mission, said his team placed a bomb under the driver’s seat, rigged to explode when the engine started.

    Mr. Shostak was wounded in the explosion but survived, said Mr. Fedorov, the exiled mayor. The attack was separately reported by Ukrainian authorities and described by displaced people leaving Melitopol through a checkpoint to Ukrainian territory on Sunday.

    Whether targeted people survive or die in the attacks, partisans say, is less important than the signal sent with each strike: You are never safe.

    • Fred says:


      36 paragraphs spread across two comment submissions, which don’t actually have any commentary by you. Is the NYT that had up for readership or are you simply trying to discredit this blog?

  7. Bill Roche says:

    So is/has always been the case w/partisan activity. You come into my country, kill my people, destroy my homes, be ready to face death at my hands. This is brutal slip.

  8. walrus says:

    Al, unfortunately for you and the NYT, it seems to have escaped your notice that the people of Donbass, perhaps aided and trained by Russian special forces, have a similar set of unconventional warfare options.

    Two can play at this nasty game and Kiev should perhaps think twice about fostering it. I am especially concerned about stray MANPADS.

    As both Col. Lang and TTG will confirm, once a munition is issued to front line troops, the issuer has no control over what happens to it and most likely wouldn’t want if back anyway because you can’t be sure it’s still safe let alone reissue it.

    • Al says:

      Walrus, There is nothing “unfortunate” for me regarding the partisan attacks by Ukraine forces, nor if Russia tries to turn the table.

      The passion of Ukraine’s home grown fighters compared to what Russia can bring forth with lower motivated from Donbass likely stark.

  9. Leith says:

    One source is saying a Ukrainian Special Forces unit has been in Crimea since April. Landed by rubber boat.

    If true, I reckon they are being supported by local stay-behind agents (cicadas)? Or possibly by caches of weapons and food stashed secretly back in 2014? Too dangerous to resupply them by traditional methods. By UAV perhaps but that would also be dicey considering they (may) have been there for four months.

    Per Wikipedia there was an alleged Ukrainian Special Forces infiltration into Crimea six years ago: “On 10 August 2016 Russia accused the Special Forces of Ukraine of conducting a raid near the Crimea town of Armyansk which killed 2 Russian servicemen; the government of Ukraine denied any involvement. Ukrainian intelligence services reported that there was indeed a border clash, but stated it was a friendly fire incident between the Russian military and the border service of Russia’s Federal Security Service.” Armyansk is at the north end of Crimea on the Perekop Isthmus close to mainland Ukraine.

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