“Ukraine Update: All eyes on Kherson as Ukraine tightens the noose” – TTG

The other three targets were all in Kherson Oblast, where Ukraine continues to shape the battlefield in preparation for a promised offensive that some say has already begun.  Ukrainian presidential advisor Aleksey Arestovych clearly laid out the strategy

There won’t be a single day, when you will be able to tell, that it had started. In a way – it already has started. It will be accurate destruction of Russian forces top-down, starting from operational, then operational-tactical, then tactical levels. Decisive forces – artillery (guided 155mm shells) , rocket artillery (HIMARS), aviation.

Ukraine will not throw solders in one large assault, they will first make sure Russia has no fuel, no ammo, no command, only then approach with infantry. Of course, there will be manoeuvres, forcing Russia to respond and deploy defence. This is not yet NATO level, when most damage can be done remotely, but close to that. Most emphasis is on remote fire, isolation of battlefields, and incremental destruction. Ukrainian objective is for its infantry to encounter weakened Russian forces without supplies, fuel, ammo, command.

Russia shapes the battlefield by leveling everything in its path with artillery. The United States and NATO do so using aircraft to establish air superiority, then supporting infantry by surgically targeting and suppressing defenses from the air.

Ukraine doesn’t have the aircraft, and has no interest in leveling its own cities and killing civilians. So this is their version—using HIMARS and 155mm precision guided munitions to eliminate Russia’s ammo, fuel, supplies, and commanders, then denying them the ability to either resupply or retreat. Civilian partisans inside Kherson city and other defensive zones will feed target coordinates to Ukrainian artillery, allowing the erosion of those defenses from afar. Russia’s response will be their usual “spray it” style of artillery … until they run out of shells. No barge can keep hungry howitzers fed for long, and given the daily reports out of Kherson oblast, that Russian artillery is still blasting away. Here’s is last night’s report from Ukrainian General Staff. (The “South Buh” is Kherson oblast, referring to the South Bug river which flows down from Poland, around Mykolaiv, and into the Black Sea.)

In the South Buh direction, shelling from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Ivanivka, Tokarevo, Kariyerne, Osokorivka, Blahodatne, Kobzartsi, Chervona Dolyna, Lepetiha, Andriivka, Velyke Artakove, Vesely Kut, Partyzanske, Shevchenko, Myrne, Shyroke , Prybuzke, Luch, Posad-Pokrovske, Lyubomyrivka, Stepova Dolyna, Tavriyske and Oleksandrivka. The enemy carried out airstrikes near Velike Artakove, Bilohirka and Potemkino.

That’s a lot of shelling. No one’s told them the bridges are out? Hopefully they burn through their entire ammo supply ASAP. Ukrainian infantry won’t be able to push forward until Russian guns run empty. When that happens, Russian defenders will have three choices—swim across a river in retreat, leaving equipment behind, surrender, or die for the dumbest stupid reason. Either option A or B will start looking really good before long. 

None of this is breaking news, but Ukraine needs Kherson. It was the first real city to fall, the only regional capital in Russian hands since the start of this phase of the war. It was captured through treachery and treason. And while Russia isn’t pushing through to Odesa and Transnistria (in Moldova) anytime soon, its control and current efforts to annex the region feeds into Putin’s grand delusions. 

Militarily, taking Kherson would pull this entire chunk of territory out of the war, allowing Ukraine to reposition forces in Zaporizhzhia oblast: 

It would further cut off a major supply route from Crimea, leaving Russians between Nova Kakhovka and Melitopol reliant on a single route from Crimea (which Ukraine will sever) and from a single rail line from the east which Ukraine can cut at Tokmak. Taking Kherson would crush Putin’s grand delusions about Novorossiya stripping Ukraine of its entire Black Sea coast (and thus its main economic connection to the world). Crimea itself would be in danger of once again losing its water supply at Nova Kakhovka. 

Ukraine would earn the ultimate propaganda victory, one that might break Russian support for the war. Arestovych noted that “Russian public opinions are going insane, seems like everyone got permission to write bad news.” Pro-Russian military bloggers are certainly voicing fierce criticisms of the war effort, and are themselves mocking Russian claims of “diversions” and “good will gestures” to explain away humiliating retreats. 

“The first Ukrainian victory will be hard, but when it happens (and it will happen), the fall of Russia will be terrible,” Arestovych further predicted. “All Russian [morale] holds on them being able to exert pressure, when it stops, Russians would start questioning – why did we lost 50k solders, if land can be lost like that?”

Russia’s is gasping out a few last efforts in Donbas, but they are struggling to take small hamlets en route to more heavily fortified towns and cities. It won’t be long before their efforts “culminate,” that is, they run out of energy for offensive operations and dig in to defend what they’ve taken. 

Russia’s best bet is to hunker down, defend their territory at all cost, and then sue for “peace,” a cease-fire that would lock their gains indefinitely into place. Then they’d hope for one of two things—Ukraine’s own counteroffensive efforts sputter, and both sides stalemate, exhausted and depleted, or Russia holds out into the winter when energy extortion might push skittish Europeans to demand a cease fire. Don’t blame the Europeans, we saw here how people lost their minds over a trip of cloth. Heck, Republicans are hoping that $5 gas is enough to win them the midterm elections. We are not a resilient people.

As for Ukraine, it has already functionally surrounded Kherson. It’s now a matter of how much punishment the Russian garrison will suffer before waving the white flag.


Comment: This is from the Daily Kos, about as woke a news site as there is. Markos Moulitsas, the founder and editor is just as woke as his site. He also served in an Army MLRS unit so he has some insight into the HIMARS phenomenon. Arestovich, who Kos quotes in his article, is well known for often letting his mouth get ahead of his brain. Still, between the two of them, they came up with a pretty good piece of reporting and analysis. I find it so good that I’m posting a sizable chunk of the article. 

One thing I would add is the role of Ukrainian UW. Local partisans and embedded Ukrainian SOF have been carrying out regular hits on rail lines and bridges throughout the Kherson and Melitopol regions. I’m sure they’re also spotting for HIMARS and artillery. As a recent example they carried out a high value personnel interdiction on 27 July, killing a collaborator police officer in the southern portion of Kherson. They carried out a second ambush on the 27th, damaging two police vehicles and wounding two collaborator police officers in a daring daylight operation in central Kherson. These actions by partisans and embedded SOF are going to make the Russians’ effort to mount a defense against the imminent Ukrainian offensive. 


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70 Responses to “Ukraine Update: All eyes on Kherson as Ukraine tightens the noose” – TTG

  1. Fred says:

    “Ukraine doesn’t trust Western resolve in the face of a Russia gas shut-off. People lost their shit over a strip of cloth during a deadly global pandemic;….”

    Ah, a mask true believer. Is there any mention of the Covid Casualties Ukraine has experienced, or how double/quadrupple vaxxed their armed forces might be? Any hospital overwhelmed, any shortages of booster vaxes?

    ” Only about 50,000 GMLRS rockets were ever made, and many are in the hands of countries not supplying Ukraine. ”

    Yeah that might have a wee bit of impact on the summer offensive, which if not running out of ammo is certainly starting to run out of summer.

    “Heck, Republicans are hoping that $5 gas is enough to win them the midterm elections. …”

    Kos staff are wrong on a couple counts. It isn’t the American midterm elections the Ukies need to worry about, but the stability of the EU member states, Germany in particular. The self-destruction being caused by sanctions, because the Greens and others ‘shaped the (economic) battlefield’ when they made themselves reliant on green energy and Russian gas over a period of years. More than one government has collapsed, Germany is in trouble and you might look at the dollar – Euro rate to see how badly damaged the EU currency is. The Federal Reserve is not going to bail out EU banks like Obama had the Fed do in his first term. Not to mention that the only thing funding the continuation of the current Ukrainian government right now is the Biden Administration.

    • Sam says:

      Germany turns off the hot water: Hanover becomes first big city to ban hot water in public buildings in response to Russian gas crisis 

      The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures


      “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.” – Trump in 2018.

      They all laughed.


      A nice juxtaposition!

      The Green Party and Angela Merkel’s Conservative Christian Democrat party voluntarily shut down German nuclear power production. Will they be held to account? Nah!

      Voters in the west always vote Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum and then keep expecting different results. Isn’t that supposed to be Einstein’s definition of insanity.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    Even if Ukraine wins (they already lost by blowing up their own country) the fight is not over. The BIGGER enemy is the ESG WEF folks. Now what? You just took out your best shot at defeating your worst enemy that absolutely is hell bent on implementing GLOBAL TYRANNY.

    But I am an idiot for reading the dozens of studies going back a decade stating masks for viruses do not work. I also used common sense because I knew the CDC never recommended masks for the flu, not even for the elderly for the past 50 years.

    I do however hope Ukraine gets beatdown. The sooner we get to WEF global tyranny the better. It seems the only way to beat communism is having to suffer through it as the saying goes and we all will.

  3. Jose says:

    “those who play with fire, shall perish by it.”

  4. different clue says:

    Kos is a Woke blogsite and is also a Clinton website. (A deep study of Kos might reveal various ways in which Wokie and Clintanon are closely related.) And the Kos view is that Clinton won the 2016 election except that Putin stole it and illegitimately gave it to Trump, who illegitimately accepted Putin’s illegitimately given gift of a stolen election. ( And since I voted for Trump in Michigan, I want any Clintanons reading this comment to know that I helped).

    So it should not be surprising that Kos would be anti-Putin/anti-Russia in this as in other things. Kos still wants revenge for the “terrible wrong” that Putin “did” to Clinton in 2016.

    The few blogs I read regularly on this war-in-progress are strongly partisan for one side or another. I try reading them all, comparing and contrasting, and seeing how it will turn out. Since I don’t know enough about war or battles or this particular war and set of battles to offer an opinion on that itself, all I can do is see who ends up having won and lost, see what they won and lost, and try understanding it from there.

    • TTG says:

      different clue,

      I agree that the idea of Putin stealing the 2016 election form Clinton is just wrong. There is zero evidence that Russia changed even one vote once they were cast. I do think Russian IO changed some minds as to how they voted. As a concept, there’s nothing wrong with that. Attempting to sway foreign opinion is a legitimate activity. But Russia’s IO was largely based on falsehoods and deception. Shame on us for not recognizing and neutralizing it.

      • different clue says:

        I heard about Russian disinfo attempts. Has anyone done a study of what Russia-linked or Russia-sourced or Russia-sponsored info operators were saying and has anyone done a study of whether those disinfo-bits got into American minds from that source and no other? Or even from that source at all.

        All I know is that I was always a Never Clinter and when it looked like Trump was going to kick all the other R-Party nominee-wannabes over sideways, and stomp on them; my mind was already set on Sanders or Trump. Never Clinton. Never ever.

        So when Clinton stole the nomination from Sanders, Trump was all I had left to turn to. I don’t remember receiving any Russia-type information during that time. But if somebody could offer actual examples of such, that would be helpful.

        • borko says:

          The whole Russian collusion narrative started after Putin, when asked about Trump, said something like: Trump is capable, smart guy.

          Trump liked the compliment (of course) and the democrats thought they finally found an angle they could use to discredit him and get Hillary elected.

          The (non) story just snowballed from there and got a life of its own.
          They created this big Russians interference thing out of nothing.

          • blue peacock says:

            The Russia collusion hoax was ginned up by the Clinton campaign and executed by top operatives like Marc Elias & Sussman at Perkins Coie and the Fusion GPS “security contractors” who had access to NSA/FBI systems.

            Chris Steele’s dossier and the media collusion and the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was all orchestrated out of the Clinton campaign and the “national security apparatus” and the corporate media apparatus all played their role.

        • TTG says:

          different clue,

          Someone who’s done a lot of work in studying the technical/informational aspects is Jonathan Albright. He’s described as a “professor and researcher in news, journalism, and #hashtags. Award-nominated data journalist. Media, communication, and technology.” A lot of his research is summarized on the Medium site. I’ve read his stuff since 2016, but he was working in this field at least several years before that.


          And here’s a wired article on the guy and his work.


          Much of what he described has been talked about in Russian IO circles, among many others. The United Russia people were deep into this stuff from Putin’s early days. This stuff works in nuanced ways. It seldom results in cataclysmic changes in societal opinions, but it works around the fringes in amplifying ideas that already exist. Beyond just amplifying what’s already in existence, Russia used a lot of media accounts that passed themselves off as US-based accounts. The TEN_GOP account was masquerading as an official Tennessee GOP source. In reality it was run out of the ISA in Saint Petersburg. It was quite influential in amplifying the narrative that Russia wanted amplified. There were many Twitter and FaceBook accounts like this as well as numerous websites. Here’s an article on the TEN_GOP account.


          • different clue says:

            These sources-as-described look like they would/will be worth reading. It would take many hours to read them. I suspect that once I am retired and have abundant time in the public library at library computers
            ( or have by that time a real computer on a real desk of my very own at home), that I will circle back and read them.

            Right now, in my pre-retirement and with computer screen-time hard-rationed by a work-life schedule, I will choose to read other things. So I hope that this blog and these sources remain up and accessible by the time I am retired in a few-couple years.

            One question I suspect I will bring to the reading is how the “amplifying” effect of Russian IO engineering can be measured and separated from the ground-state effect of zero-Russian-involvement narratives that were already there anyway. For example, I have zero Facebook or Twitter or any other Social Media. If those were the pathways for Russian narrative-amplification influence, how would such influence reach me? And what narratives would have been amplified in the spaces where my brain hangs out?

            I know that I and many people have nursed a desire for getting revenge on the Clintons ever since NAFTA/WTO membership “for” America and then for China/ MFN status for China were passed and signed in order to destroy the American Industrial economy in order to destroy the American Industrial unions . . . as well as to enrich all the Free Trade Conspirators who planned to get richer than rich by working the differential conditions-and-costs arbitrage-rackets between America and Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc. etc. etc. That has been the narrative and belief shared by millions of people out here in Rust Beltistan for many years before the Trump v. Clinton election.

            I and others were given a chance to get revenge on Bill Clinton for NAFTA and etc. by voting against his Wifey-poo in 2016, and we jumped at that chance. And we would have done the same thing, Putin or no Putin. And if Chelsea the Golden Brat ever runs for something, numbers of people will vote their vengeance against yet another Clinton polluting our politics with its vile and filthy presence with or without any influence from Putin. Or Russia.

            But I will read these things when retirement gives me the time.

  5. Jake says:

    Terrorists killing police-officers, and high-fiving because it is a clear sign of this top-down destruction needed to drive the Russians out? No doubt their will be ‘Gladio-type’ stay-behind forces left which can, and will do a lot of damage if the Russians let them. Two months ago, I saw Russian propaganda photo-shoots of a peaceful, sunny Kherson with a young mother behind a stroller, and there is a fair chance those days will be numbered for the time being. But then again, I also read an account from the DPR-side about Ukrainian shells hitting a camp where imprisoned Azov-fighters were held, killing a bunch of them. How does that fit in?

    Like you said, TTG, the ‘Daily Kos’ is a rather obscure source when you want to get viable information about what’s going on in that part of Ukraine. It is clearly at odds with a recent analysis I came across in an interview of colonel Doug Macgregor done by Judge Napolitano, where Macgregor suggested the Russians may use the month of August to launch an offensive to conquer the remaining part of the Black Sea coast. I don’t know where he found the intel to support this, as the Russian side is not exactly bragging about what they are about to do, and how, like this Ukrainian guy. The only thing pointing in the direction of difficulty for NATO/Ukraine ahead, as far as I’m aware of, is Blinken being desperate to talk to Lavrov. And Lavrov stalling, because he is busy with more important things. But that hardly qualifies as operational intel which signals what will be next in a military sense. Only that the Russians seem to be confident that they still have the upper hand.

    Previously I did not add my opinion to the discussion about the shape of this upcoming Ukrainian offensive on these pages, because I can’t find any decent information on strengths and weaknesses, and I came to distrust western intel briefings on Russian losses, and depleted forces, which have been the rage since Russia withdrew from the Kiev-area and regrouped. Clearly it would be near criminal to goad Ukraine into prolonging this war when that would only result in a bigger loss, knowing full well that they stood no chance. That will only serve the military-industrial complex and the oil companies. Not Ukraine, or the people in the US and Europe left with the tab. Russia saying that they will add more territory if NATO continues to send weapons, is in line with what Douglas Macgregor says. Other sources claiming that there is no trained Ukrainian infantry left, only recently enlisted, drafted civilians, dovetails with the ‘Kos-piece’, where the narrator suggests that no assault will take place until victory is assured. Oddly mirroring the Russian strategy up till now. Which was designed to limit losses on the ‘friendly’ side, and using artillery to ‘soften’ the Ukrainian positions. Is he for real if he expects the balance to flip? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess. Because no cease fire is on the table.

    • Leith says:

      Jake –

      The killing of a police officer who has been assisting Putin’s neo-KGB to track down and arrest or kill Ukrainian loyalists is an act of self-defense. It is definitely not terrorism. 80 or so years ago the Dutch Resistance did the same many times.
      PS – There are hundreds or more of Ukrainian law enforcement officers that have been killed or disappeared by DPR/LPR, Wagnerites, Kadyrovsty, or others of Putin’s Gestapo. Those numbers are an order of magnitude greater than the traitorous cop in Kherson.

      The POW camp in Olenika was run by Putin’s Wagner Group. They destroyed it themselves, probably to cover up their torture and murder of POWs. The UN and ICRC have requested entry to the site in order to conduct an investigation. But so far have been denied. Ask yourself “cui bono” from this horrific event? Ukraine had nothing to gain.

      • Jake says:

        Terrorism is a military strategy. Debris shown of the projectiles which hit Olenika indicated it had been struck by Himars. The destruction I saw was consistent with a hit, and the only video evidence of torture and killing of POW so far was Ukrainian para-military maiming and killing Russian POW, which evidence they distributed themselves. The ICRC are no longer recognized by Russia, in which it mimics the US and Israel. I do ask myself cui bono all the time, and especially in this war, since independent reporting went out the door on day 1. A number of false flag attacks from the Ukrainian side have been exposed previously, all of them because they were needed to win the propaganda-war, and keep the weapons coming, while the real war was going nowhere.

        • Jake says:

          The ICRC, the Red Cross, IS recognized, and has now been invited, together with the UN, to come and take a look. The ICC however is no longer recognized. My apologies for the misunderstanding created in the text above.

        • Leith says:

          Jake –

          The POW prison at Olenika was definitely NOT hit by a HIMARS strike. The damage is more characteristic of an incendiary weapon. The building & furnishings, and what little we can see of the dead POWs appeared to be burned, not ripped apart by blast effects. or killed by shrapnel. HIMARS rockets would leave craters, but there are none. The building itself made of concrete block would have suffered major damage to the walls, but there is none and the building is still standing. But I’m sure things will be re-arranged and staged by the time the ICRC & UN investigators are allowed to see the site. Strange that no guards nor jailers were killed or wounded, don’t you think? There was no way their captors would ever release Azov Battalion prisoners. So some idiot devised this false flag as a way to execute them while laying the blame on Ukraine and on US weapons.

          BTW Olenivka is only a very short distance from the frontline. Ukraine would not waste precious HIMARS rounds on a target so close. They reserve it for deep attacks in the enemy rear.

          PS – The Russians, or their Wagner mercs, were in violation of Article 19 of the Geneva Convention by keeping POWs so close to the front lines. That itself makes it a war crime.

          • Jake says:


            Remember that you are responding to a question. I asked what that attack meant. And you are responding like you know what happened. I’m willing to contemplate various possibilities, which include your version of events. Yet, since you asked me who benefitted (cui bono), I must admit that your scenario doesn’t pop up as the most likely one. Hence my opposition.

            The Russians and DPR-authorities already posted a number of taped interviews which saw captured Azov-militant ‘sing’, and they are preparing a ‘show-case’ tribunal. They are eager to show to the world that these Azov-militants were hell-bent on war with Russia, and responsible for killing scores of people in the Donbas over the past eight years. Then there is this issue of bio-warfare, and testing on the Ukrainian people, using volunteers from the military and militia. And no doubt the Russians want to prove that these Azov-militants received plenty of support from NATO-aligned agencies. Dead witnesses won’t do them any good. Would NATO/Ukraine use ‘high value’ ammunition to stop the ‘singing’? I bet you.

            About the damage, and whether or not guards were killed or hurt, I cannot say a thing, except that it does looks as if something entered the building shown through the roof. Whether it was an incendiary device, or an explosive device which caused a fire, I don’t know. And my guess is that you don’t know either, but surprise me. You rave about the damage a Himars-hit would have caused, but looking at the ‘potholes’ in that bridge they hit, I can’t say that I’m impressed. Yet, I’m not saying it was a Himars-strike for sure. But I’m still willing to consider it.

            If it was a Himars-strike, that still doesn’t prove Ukraine/NATO hit that building on purpose. No lack of misadventures in past wars, either because of serious errors, or bad intel. Hitting wedding-parties, hospitals, and the family of an aid-worker as a parting shot when leaving Afghanistan in a hurry, while claiming he was the next Bin Laden. Remember? So, it could have been a missile which veered off course. Or a ‘rogue element’ within the Ukrainian military could have provided coordinates to create a ‘False Flag’ event on behalf of the Russians. Or the Russians captured a spy, and used that channel to feed these coordinates. Or the Russians ‘hacked’ the fire-control system of Himars. Or……

            And then there is this possibility of captured Azov-militants ordering a strike on ‘self’, which is not entirely uncommon in dedicated military circles when a position is untenable, and the soldiers fear being captured, with there valuable equipment or privileged knowledge. A Russian Special Forces officer was rewarded when he did just that in Palmyra in 2016, after he found himself surrounded by ISIS. At the time it even made the news in the west.

            Many possible options to consider, each with different consequences. Peddling the Ukrainian propaganda-version as if it were the only possible option is for ‘good soldiers’ only. Not for someone eager to know, in order to see where we are going. Originally you pointed towards the alleged refusal of the Russians to allow the UN near the place. Now that they invited the UN to see for themselves, you need to say that they are bound to have staged the scene to keep going. Which sounds very much like what went down in the run-up to Iraq, where weapons-inspectors said there were no weapons of mass destruction, but the Bush administration insisted that those weapons inspectors couldn’t be trusted. The Bush administration used its grip on the ‘good soldiers’ to feed them lies, remember?

            A friendly guy I was talking to on the underground in Mexico stole my wallet through creating chaos while I was about to leave the train. I discovered that my wallet was missing the moment I stepped on the platform, and realized what had happened. But a friend of my ‘friend’ stood in the door, and pointed toward the exit: ‘There they go!’, he exclaimed. I ignored him, stepped back into the train, and made a ‘citizens arrest’ at the next station. I got my wallet back, and the police took care of the three villains involved. The moral of that story is that you must be careful with calling people your ‘friend’, because they talk nice, and feed you stories you like to hear.

          • cobo says:

            “The Russians and DPR-authorities already posted a number of taped interviews which saw captured Azov-militant ‘sing’, and they are preparing a ‘show-case’ tribunal. They are eager to show to the world that these Azov-militants were hell-bent on war with Russia…” – cui bono

          • Leith says:

            Jake –

            They will be more like Show Trials instead of your show case tribunals. Russia has a long history of those special courts staged meticulously. As did the Third Reich. Not only within Germany, where 12,000 were executed, but also in the occupied territories. There were even a few Speciaal Courts or what the NAZIs called Sondergerichte set up in your own fair country.

            Those POWs in Olenivka that refused to “cooperate”—in other words to admit guilt for alleged and fabricated crimes—are the ones that were killed in that fire. Or possibly they were executed and then dumped in the building where a thermobaric weapon was set off.

            The DPR/Russian authorities did not want them to go on public trial if they were not going to “sing” per the script written for them. The ones that did “sing” were most likely coerced into confessing.

            Regardless of what happens in this Stalin style Kangaroo Court, the DPR commanders did not move those POWs away from the front to keep them safe. That breaches Article 19 of the Geneva Convention and is a war crime. It is a real war crime, not a propagandized one. Those commanders should face justice in the ICC.

  6. Barbara Ann says:

    Thanks for the update TTG. Bridges out, Russian ammo dumps in Kherson and elsewhere going up daily like firecrackers and no doubt the usual voices will say none of it will make any difference and that Russian victory remains inevitable.

  7. DD says:

    This seems very doubtful, most ukrainian offensive actions have been thoroughly repelled. Russia’s lead in military industrial and armament output is unmatched and occasional U.S. aid (the ammo that makes it through) will not challenge that. Self reporting from Ukrainian and foreign mercs on the ground also paints a dim picture of low morale, friendly fire, and general disarray.

    I do not think that the occasional bridge collapse will halt the Russian advance, it seems to be wishful thinking. Do you yourself believe that Ukraine will be able to halt the Russian offensive?

    • TTG says:


      Ukrainian forces have retaken more territory than Russia has taken in the last few months, especially around Kharkiv and Kherson. Yes, I believe Ukraine will halt all Russian offensive activities. I also believe Russia will not be able to halt the coming Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson.

  8. KjHeart says:

    Jomini of the West seems to have info that correlates somewhat with this narrative ‘reposted above’



    I haven’t forgotten that ‘culmination point’ comment that pl made several days ago – I am keeping that in mind whenever updates come in.

    Thing is – very little of that article, above, contains updates – the paragraph that stuck out to me is that is a god-awful lot of cities enduring shelling by the Rooskies…

  9. VietnamVet says:

    Everything now is “big lie” war propaganda. One is on their own to try to determine what reality is and guess what will happen next. I stopped reading Daily Kos a decade ago, my last comment was around 2012. It was bubble wrapped even before the 2016 election. But, it is clear that Ukraine must keep Odessa to remain a viable nation. It is also clear that the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union. Almost six months into the proxy world war, the real question is does Russia have the troops, armored vehicles, logistics, and close air support for maneuver warfare to liberate Transnistria?

    Likewise, the cut-off of Russian natural gas this winter to Germany will freeze the economy and the people. The European Union is essentially a trade pact that allows corporations to increase their profits, no matter the costs. The chickens have come home to roost. The EU won’t last a year. It will splinter back into sovereign national governments that can address the world war, pandemics and famine that are engulfing their citizens. Whoever is running the show now is unable to grasp reality. Most likely because it means acknowledging that their gravy train has run off the tracks. It will get worse as higher interest rates cause job losses and inflation continues to soar due to shortages from the ongoing pandemics, broken just-in-time supply system, and war

    The smart thing to do, right now, is sign an armistice, and build a DMZ along the line of contact. Ukraine gets Kherson and the West Bank of the Dnieper River and a future. Russia keeps most of the Czar’s Donbass Region and the Crimean Canal. The world avoids a nuclear war. A big cause of the current travails is ended.

    • Fred says:


      “Whoever is running the show now is unable to grasp reality. ”

      It isn’t the people you think are in charge, and they realize that quite well. That’s why all the doubling down.

    • KjHeart says:

      It would be a blessing (in the long view) is the EU falls apart – (IMO)

      as much as I do not like DMZ’s that would at least stop the destruction

      Thank you for your comments – I learn so much here

    • Leith says:

      Vietnam Vet –

      The real question it seems to me is: does Ukraine have the resources and the cojones to help Moldova liberate Transnistria?

      • borko says:


        even if they do, expanding this conflict to other countries is probably not a good idea.
        Transniatria is not a threat. If Russia fails in Ukraine, that area will probably get an offer they cannot refuse and reintegrate into Moldova peacefully.

        • cobo says:

          Transnistria is a forward deployed military outpost from a former, but still subconscious/yearning/restive, Russian empire.

    • Bill Roche says:

      VV; the smart thing to do right now, was the smart think to do 2 months ago. Let the east and Crimea go and take the remainder of a rebuilt and patriotic 30MM Ukrainians into the future. Who refuses to talk to whom??

      • Pat Lang says:


        They may do that de facto without admitting it. Of course they will do their best to tear up the RU forces on the way.

  10. Pat Lang says:

    1 – “Amateurs talk about operations. Professionals talk about logistics.” The strategy attributed to the UKA seems sound to me. Unless the RU can re-open their supply lines they are screwed. 2- Ukraine UW in the RU rear and against collaborators will be a major nuisance.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Is the RU effort west and SW of Kherson past its “culminating point?” You will only know after the denouement. This an analytic tool.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Pat “you will only know after the denouement” … does this mean that a culminating point assessment is not a predictive tool?

        • Pat Lang says:

          Bill Roche
          It is a tool that establishes a framework for analysis of both past and ongoing or planned actions, as in “if we do this will we have gone too far?” Or,”how dangerous is our present or prospective situation?”

          • Bill Roche says:

            I asked about culminating point and predictability for a reason. Back in 1970 I walked past Maj. Lang’s desk as he was noodling w/two algebraic equations. “What are they about sir”, “everyone’s quantifying everything these days (surely you remember the best and the brightest Rusk and McNamera and their quantification of all life in the universe) and I’m wondering if the elements of battle can be also; how’s your algebra?” “Not good enough I’m afraid”. I d/n forget that conversation and when you were speaking a week or so ago about culminating point I wondered if some smart OR guy had found a way to test variables to their extremes in order to predict when one had gone b/y the CP. I think its a calculus technique for testing extremes in any area. No, my algebra still has not improved.

          • Pat Lang says:

            What was I doing in 1970?

          • Bill Roche says:


    • borko says:

      This conflict has been in highly active phase from the beginning. Russians are running out of bodies to throw into it and the Ukrainians could be short on material (and experienced men to a lesser extent).
      The Russians, if desperate enough, could escalate this by seriously going after the civilian infrastructure of their “brotherly” people.
      Zelensky asked for some 7 billion dollars per month to keep the economy from caving in completely.

    • Fred says:

      Both of those should have been foreseen by the RU months ago. They certainly don’t appear to have brought their best to this war.

  11. Fourth and Long says:

    When was it discovered that you can’t give a howitzer to a clean shaven president?

  12. Sam says:

    Now Russia cuts off gas supply to Latvia amid growing energy panic in Europe after supplies to Poland, Finland, Netherlands and Denmark were axed – and some cities go dark to save power


    This winter will severely test the Europeans resolve. It will be interesting to see how the European politicians will respond to an angry public facing the double whammy of high inflation and a lack of energy?

    If Ukraine wants any territory back they better get on the move.

    • Bill Roche says:

      I thought you c/n be right. After all, Lavrov said this war is just about Ukraine and 2014. But I checked and you’re right! Why should the Russians vent their anger on the Lats? My golly, will the Lits and Stones get their gas turned off too. What ever is the message Putin and Russia are sending to the Balts?

      • TTG says:

        Bill Roche,

        I don’t know what kind of stunt Lavrov is trying to pull, but the Baltic states already stopped importing Russian gas back in April. Lithuania’s LNG terminal and gas pipeline to Finland will be the primary supplier for the Baltics and a major supplier for Poland. In other words, the Balts have already told Putin to go f*ck himself.

        • Worth Pointing Out says:

          “but the Baltic states already stopped importing Russian gas back in April”

          The Latvians (unwisely) admitted that they were still importing Russian gas, but not directly from Gazprom.

          They were buying it (in Euros) from a middleman, which allowed them to pretend that they were not importing Russian gas when they were.

          Very unwise, because Gazprom promptly dusted off their contracts and pointed out that this was a material breech of the agreement.

          So no gas for Latvia, and no doubt harsh words for that 3rd party reseller that they are next unless they cut out that nonsense.

  13. borko says:


    You think the EU wont last a year?

    Think again, the EU is not that fragile.
    Most people outside the EU don’t realize the amount of work, planning and preparation that goes into a country getting ready to join. Even after the country joins, it can take many more years for it to become a part of the eurozone and Schengen.
    It is nothing like the BRICS or the SCO.
    The EU is much much more thought out and cohesive.

    • Fred says:


      “The EU is much much more thought out and cohesive”

      That explains EU sanctions against EU member states quite well.

  14. Leith says:

    TTG –

    There is some thought by OSINT posters on twitter that the RU is trying to reinforce Kherson. Possibly those reinforcing troops are coming from the Izium District. If so that gives Ukraine a chance to push back in the Donbas.

    So that raises the question, was the formal announcement of an offensive in Kherson a ploy to weaken defenses in the East? I suspect not, but then why announce an offensive against Kherson at the highest levels of government? Perhaps the intent is to spread the RU occupation zone defenses thin? What is that old saying about defending all defends nothing – something like if you defend everywhere you defend nowhere? Is Putin falling for it and ordering Schidko to hold every inch of occupied territory? Kinda like Hitler’s obsession with preserving the entire Eastern Front maybe.

  15. Fred says:

    From the ISW update today:

    ” Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai said on July 29 that Russian occupation forces have not installed or serviced any ATMs in Kreminna, Rubizhne, or Popasna since taking those cities in May and that the situation is similar in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.[50] Haidai said that Russian occupiers are trying to issue cash pensions to civilians in occupied areas but can only provide pensions by mail.”
    Rough times in the the cities. Which brings to mind the logistics of feeding a city like Kherson. Just where is all the food and fuel and associated things coming from, that single track rail line controlled by the Russians? I’m assuming the number of civilians there significantly outnumber the 12,000+ Russians believed to be controlling the region.

    • JohninMK says:

      There are photos now showing that Ukrainian artillery has hit a section over land of the key railway bridge. No indication yet as to its repairability.

      As to the HIMARS damaged road bridge it looks like civilian traffic is back using it, driving around the pot holes, probably meaning that light goods vehicles may be in use. The SU built their bridges really strong, this one completed in 1985, in case they became military targets, as now. No doubt the engineering computers are hard at work on load calculations.

      • Fred says:


        And just how much vehicle traffic is using that to bring in food etc. to feed a quarter million civilians this whole time?

  16. Christian J. Chuba says:

    A month from now when Russia still holds Kherson, do we admit anything or move onto Zelensky’s next talking points?

  17. Worth Pointing Out says:

    From TTG’s headline: “All eyes on Kherson as Ukraine tightens the noose”

    Not all eyes: the latest report from ISW is starting to express the first stirrings of alarm regarding what is going on the Novoluhanske area. Freddie is now using language about Russia seeking to “exploit recent gains” in that area.

    Be careful that you aren’t taking your eye off the ball.

  18. JohninMK says:

    In the face of a major Russian move of equipment and men west over the Dneiper it looks like the Ukrainian Army has deferred its plans, clearly planning to use its artillery against massed Russian forces.

    Arestovych predicts that the Russian forces will attack around the 5/6 August.

    Clearly softening up by Russia is well underway, with probable local civilian support, as some western correspondents present in Nikolaev are on record saying that the Russians struck that area alone with some 130 cruise missiles over the past two weeks and that their accuracy was scary, hitting supposedly ‘secret’ arms warehouses, troop quarters etc, suggesting that the Russians possess a lot of insider information.

    From his comments:


    🇷🇺 VDV is equipped for attack, not defence. Their rear structures are half of normal army, which might have some advantage considering only 2 supply points, that 🇺🇦 will attack. Looks like 🇷🇺 wants to get rid of their paratroopers completely.
    There were 12-15 BTGs already, now added 10 more, possibly can expect more. Yesterday 800 vehicles (5-7 BTGs) crossed Kakhovka dam.

    Bad news: 🇺🇦 offensive delayed a bit. Good new: perspective is better, as there will be nobody left to defend Kherson. 🇷🇺 offensive is th emost stupid thing, they can do (besides all-out mobilisation). It will save 🇺🇦 2 months of battles.
    🇷🇺 will attempt to reach Kherson district borders before planned referendum in September.


    • Pat Lang says:


      They will just hit it again and try to catch the repair crews on the bridge.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        HIMARS seems unable to drop a span. That would seem to me to be the only way to prevent the Russians from repairing the bridge no matter how many holes the Ukrainians poke in it.

        • mcohen says:

          Good point,Right down then left up to the centre.Concrete boss is solid.

        • cobo says:

          Ukranians are dishing out the destruction of their own territory, carefully. Ya wanna bet they got the coordinates down for every little bit?

  19. Al says:

    Any other reporting on this?
    From Politico:
    Drone explosion hits Russia’s Black Sea Fleet HQ
    A small explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula, wounding six people and prompting the cancellation of ceremonies there honoring Russia’s navy, authorities said.

    Meanwhile, one of Ukraine’s richest men, a grain merchant, was killed in what Ukrainian authorities said was a carefully targeted Russian missile strike on his home.
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the drone explosion at the naval headquarters. But the seemingly improvised, small-scale nature of the attack raised the possibility that it was the work of Ukrainian insurgents trying to drive out Russian forces.

    The blast took place in the port city of Sevastopol in Crimea, which was seized from Ukraine by Russia in 2014. Observances of Russia’s Navy Day holiday were canceled in Sevastopol.

    The Black Sea Fleet’s press service said the drone appeared to be homemade. It described the explosive device as “low-power.” Sevastopol Mayor Mikhail Razvozhaev said six people were wounded.

    It was unclear where the drone began its flight. Sevastopol is about 100 miles south of the Ukrainian mainland, and Russian forces control much of the mainland area along the Black Sea.

    In the wake of the explosion, Crimean authorities raised the terrorism threat level for the region to “yellow,” the second-highest tier. However, a Russian lawmaker from Crimea, Olga Kovitidi, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that conclusions about the attack cannot be drawn until an investigation is complete.
    Ukraine’s navy and an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the reported drone attack underlined the weakness of Russian air defenses.

    “Did the occupiers admit the helplessness of their air defense system? Or their helplessness in front of the Crimean partisans?” Oleksiy Arestovich said on Telegram.
    If such an attack is possible by Ukraine, he said, “the destruction of the Crimean bridge in such situations no longer sounds unrealistic” — a reference to the span that Russia built to connect its mainland to Crimea after the annexation.

    Elsewhere in Ukraine, the mayor of the major port city of Mykolaiv, Vitaliy Kim, said shelling killed one of Ukraine’s wealthiest men, Oleksiy Vadatursky, and his wife, Raisa. Vadatursky headed a grain production and export business.

    Another presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said Vadatursky was specifically targeted.

    It “was not an accident, but a well-thought-out and organized premeditated murder. Vadatursky was one of the largest farmers in the country, a key person in the region and a major employer. That the exact hit of a rocket was not just in a house, but in a specific wing, the bedroom, leaves no doubt about aiming and adjusting the strike,” he said.

    Vadatursky’s agribusiness, Nibulon, includes a fleet of ships for sending grain abroad.

    In the Sumy region in Ukraine’s north, near the Russian border, shelling killed one person, the regional administration said. And three people died in attacks over the past day in the Donetsk region, which is partly under the control of Russian-backed separatist forces, said regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko.

    Podolyak said on Twitter that images of the prison where at least 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in an explosion on Friday indicated that the blast came from within the building in Olenivka, which is under Russian control.

    Russian officials have claimed the building was attacked by Ukraine with the aim of silencing POWs who might be giving information about Ukrainian military operations. Ukraine has blamed Russia for the explosion.

    Satellite photos taken before and after show that a small, squarish building in the middle of the prison complex was demolished, its roof in splinters.

    Podolyak said those images and the lack of damage to adjacent structures showed that the building was not attacked from the air or by artillery. He contended the evidence was consistent with a thermobaric bomb, a powerful device sometimes called a vacuum bomb, being set off inside.

    The International Red Cross asked to immediately visit the prison to make sure the scores of wounded POWs had proper treatment, but said Sunday that its request had yet to be granted. It said that denying the Red Cross access would violate the Geneva Convention on the rights of POWs.

    • cobo says:

      “That the exact hit of a rocket was not just in a house, but in a specific wing, the bedroom, leaves no doubt about aiming…” Geez, these Rooskies are targeting individuals, just like the Democrats.

  20. Tidewater says:

    I respectfully disagree with the idea that there is going to be any Kherson counter- offensive. DPR/Russian forces have broken through the Ukrainian first line of defense in the Donbas. This line, comprising the very strong festung points of Peski, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, and Avdivka, etc., which lies some six to ten miles from Donetsk, collapsed apparently at a critical point several days ago under intense artillery fire; the Ukrainian defenders withdrew and Russian forces broke through and are maneuvering in the rear of some of the line. Elsewhere they are mounting strong attacks and are reported to be fighting inside some of these places, such Peski and Avdivka. Avdivka has lost a factory redoubt that was important.

    If this line is truly broken, or will be quite soon, there is the possibility that the very strong Russian armored forces that have been assembling in the Izium area could make a lunge down, go right by Donetsk, and out over the sparsely populated open countryside to the west –and get to the river!

    This is huge.

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