“Ukraine update: The noose tightens on Lyman” – TTG

“In the Ridkodub area, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to take advantage of the numerical superiority and push through the defenses of the RF Armed Forces. Ukrainian formations entered the operational space north of the settlement, where there is no continuous line of defense” – Rybar

For this phase of the offensive, Svatove is the prize. Ukraine is putting pressure on both the north and southern approaches to the town, which is why Russia is throwing everything it can at both Lyman and the Ukrainian bridgehead east of Kupiansk. As Russian war blogger Rybar put in, “in the event that the Armed Forces of Ukraine reach Svatovo, the entire Lyman group of allied forces [Russian and Donbas proxy armies] will be in an operational encirclement. With a simultaneous strike from the bridgehead near Kupyansk, the entire defense along the border of the LPR could collapse.” That looks like this: 

Ridkodub is on one of the two highways supplying Lyman, while the other road, just to the east, is within range of Ukrainian artillery. But Svatove is the real prize, the key logistical hub for this corner of the front. Russia transports supplies to Starobilsk and/or Bilohurakyne by rail, then trucks them over to Svatove. If Ukraine can take the town, Russia would need to supply Lyman and its environs across the Krasna river (which passes north-south through Svatove and Kreminna). If any bridges are still left standing at this time, HIMARS/MLRS would take care of that quick. Rybar is right: cut off Svatove, and Russian positions to the west of the Krasna collapse and Ukraine walks away with several hundred more trophy armored vehicles. (Crossing the Krasna, particularly engorged by fall rains, would present serious problems for the continued Ukrainian advance, but they’ll cross that bridge—literally and figuratively—when they get there.)

Another pro-Russian blogger, in describing the desperate state of the Russian defense in the area, essentially says that Russia is throwing its reserves into a meat grinder trying to slow the Ukrainian advance. That may be why Russia is rushing recently mobilized forces to Ukraine with just a day’s worth of training. They are literally meant to be human speed bumps. 

Interestingly, pro-Russian Telegram has been declaring for about a week now that Lyman is about to fall. Meanwhile, the invaders still hold on under incredibly difficult conditions. It’s one thing for Ukrainian defender to fight to the last—this is their land. Why are Russians still sacrificing themselves?

Lyman will fall in the next couple of days, but that stiff resistance is troubling. This doesn’t look like a Russian side on the verge of utter collapse. These Russians aren’t quitting just yet — whether here, or down in Kherson, where we seem to be back to a bloody artillery battle over open fields. 


Comment: It does appear the Russians and DNR/LNR militias have been ordered to hold Lyman at all costs. I would guess the defenders of Severodonetsk received the same orders. Ah, the joys of getting tactical orders directly from the Kremlin.

I do think Lyman, Svatove and Severodonetsk will be liberated by the Ukrainians in the coming weeks. It won’t be at the speed of the recent Kharkiv offensive. It will be at the speed of infantry advancing along the unpaved forest tracks that characterize this region. Rasputitsa is already beginning to make itself felt.

The Russians should be establishing a defensive line somewhere between Staroblisk and the original LOC that can accept the unmotivated, ill trained and ill equipped mobiks trickling to the front. Russians have a reputation of being dogged in the defense. Of course, that applies to defending Mother Russia herself. I doubt the mobiks will be taken in by the Kremlin’s referendum bullshit. Unfortunately, Putin’s tactical orders are to defend every inch of the new Russian lands. The unfortunate mobiks will either die in place or surrender en masse. 


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36 Responses to “Ukraine update: The noose tightens on Lyman” – TTG

  1. Pat Lang says:

    I see that German Leopard 2s and US M1A1s are now to be provided to the US. As I observed earlierthat should have happened BEFORE large-scale offensive ops began. Of particular interest are the 200 M1A1 recently retired by USMC. This is the “Horse” part.

    • TTG says:


      Poland already bought 116 of those USMC M1A1s. We should have fully equipped several Ukrainian reserve armored brigades from our European prepositioned sets months ago. We have the M1s, Bradleys and full support/maintenance sets already sitting there. Ukraine could have used them around Kherson. I was surprised how few tank brigades were available there. I recently read how some Ukrainian infantry units are advancing on that front by digging entrenchments towards the Russian entrenchments.

  2. Leith says:

    Russian troops might be conducting a dogged defense of Lyman, but their local leadership is not. Two weeks ago Ukrainian governor of Luhansk Oblast said that Russian and LPR officials were slipping away to Mother Russia in fear of Ukraine’s offensive.

    ”They are fleeing not only from Svatove, from Starobilsk and from Troitske; they are also packing up and leaving Alchevsk and Luhansk, Ukrainian cities in the Oblast, that had been occupied since 2014. They are also packing up their belongings, and taking them and their families to Russia…”

  3. MT_Bill says:

    It will be interesting to see if there is a major change in the Russian approach after the attacks on the Nordstream pipelines. The German public must have been considering their options a little to publicly, and now turning the gas back on is off the table.

    Interesting times.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      But wouldn’t an attack on Germany’s critical energy infrastructure be an act of war, will Germany now be invoking Article 5?


      • TTG says:

        Barbara Ann,

        I believe those pipelines belong to Russia. They are part of Russia’s critical energy infrastructure. Without all those pipelines to Europe, much of Russia’s gas and oil is stuck in her oilfields.

        • Barbara Ann says:

          You can’t be serious. Which way does the gas flow? If I cut the power to your house I suppose I am spiting the electricity company by forcing them to stop supplying you.

          • TTG says:

            Barbara Ann,

            I’m dead serious. The loss of the European energy market is a massive blow to Russia. Sure they can recover. Somebody will buy their energy, but the bulk of their pipeline infrastructure has been rendered useless by the loss. It’s a massive blow to Europe, as well, but they’re moving towards alternate sources fairly quickly. Russia will have a harder time replacing their pipeline infrastructure without Western technology.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            OK. FWIW “US Navy” and “Kriegserklärung” (declaration of war) are trending on Twitter in Germany.

      • Fred says:

        Barbara Ann,


        Take that Europe! Hardly more than one day after the Italian election. Means and Motive? Lots of people have the means of sabotaging a pipleline off the Polish coast, including but not limited to the majority of the members of NATO. Then there are the Ukrainians and the Russians. (Haven’t seen much Russian activity inside the battlefront though). Motive? Well, who wants to sell gas and who wants to buy it? Who wants to keep the war going on; and who wants to bring on the Great Reset. Can’t forget that global warming either.

        Cruel cruel summer, coming to an end.

        • TTG says:


          The same day these pipelines blew out, the Norway-Poland Baltic Pipe opened. Poland now has plenty of gas. Interesting coincidence.

          • Fred says:


            No coincidence at all. Less chance of a peace deal now. On to Moscow! Where was that Russian gas from?

            “The Baltic Pipe will have the capacity to replace the roughly 60% of Polish gas imports coming from Russia via the Yamal pipeline.[27]” per wiki

            Whoopsie! Looks like that actually doesn’t replace Nordstream volumes at all. You did look that up before hand though, right?

          • TTG says:


            Poland has diversified their energy supply. This is how the Polish Oil and Gas Company put it. The rest of Europe is being dragged into this diversification game. That’s a good thing. Some day they might even consider Russian gas again.

            “We emphasize that in recent weeks PGNiG has secured additional contracts for the purchase of gas from companies operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, which we informed about during the results conference for H1 and Q2 2022. As a result, the Company has gas volumes for the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline at a level that guarantees that, together with other sources of extraction (domestic production, LNG supplies and storage stocks), it will be able to fully meet the needs of its customers in Poland in the upcoming heating season.”

          • Fred says:


            That doesn’t help Germany any.
            “Nord Stream 1 and 2 run roughly parallel to one another crossing the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Greifswald, Germany. Each has a design capacity of 55 billion cu m/year.”

          • TTG says:


            Not anymore.

      • fredw says:

        Barbara Ann

        “will Germany now be invoking Article 5?”

        1. Against who? “Who did it?” is going to be a major obsession for a while. Whoever it was had best not have left any fingerprints.
        2. Regardless who who did this, it changes the facts on the ground. Germany can’t back off their policy and make a deal because the Russians no longer have the goods. Unless the Russians can implement very quick repairs, they have lost all relevance to European energy. It looks as though Germany is going to establish energy independence from Russia this year, at whatever cost, whether they want to or not.

        • Fred says:


          Germany is getting gas from whom right now? What incentive do they have to stay involved in a war in which their own allies just ensured the destruction of their middle class’ future and destroyed their economy?

          • TTG says:


            As of a month ago Germany gets 90% of her gas from Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. Her reserve storage was at 85% of capacity. She’ll get through the winter without NS1 and NS2 never got off the ground.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Germany is getting their gas from WHO right now?
            I think TTG handled that question. I d/n realize that the Russian supply was not the entire supply. The news sure made it seem so.

          • Fred says:


            Really? What is the price of that wonderful gas they are now getting and what is the impact of that on the German economy?

    • MT_Bill says:

      Clearly this attack on those pipelines could be considered an act of war by both Russia and Germany.

      Just because they are on opposite sides of the Ukranian conflict doesn’t change how this should be interpreted. Every analysis I’ve seen of LNG replacing Russian gas in Germany says it’s years away, if ever. This now means that in the near future Germany will cease to be an economic and manufacturing powerhouse in Europe.

      It’s like cutting the head off a snake. The results are final and conclusive. It takes the body a while to catch on and in the meantime there’s still a lot of thrashing and twisting before it ends.

      It will be interesting to see the German reaction when they come to terms with what has already happened.

  4. Personanongrata says:

    The unfortunate mobiks will either die in place or surrender en masse.

    Only two possible outcomes?

    Italicized/bold text was excerpted from the website history.army.mil found within the foreword of a book titled:

    Ebb and Flow

    This volume completes the general survey of combat operations in Korea that began with the publication in 1960 of Roy Appleman’s South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. It will be followed by a study of theater logistics and an order of battle which, along with the recently published Medics’ War, will comprise the series of official Army histories of America’s so-called forgotten war.

    Ebb and Flow records an important chapter in the Korean War. It begins with the last weeks of the pell-mell rush of United Nations forces to the Chinese border and goes on to describe in great detail the test of American military leadership and resources posed by the taxing retreat of the Eighth Army and X Corps across the frozen wastes of North Korea. It also examines the special problems posed to a fighting army during the deadly months of stalemate in the summer of 1951.

    The part of the war described in this volume raises many questions for the military strategist and provides a treasure trove of lessons for the student of the art of war. The book emphasizes the limitations imposed by terrain and weather on the fighting capabilities of an American army facing surprise attack from a large, disciplined enemy. The operations it describes to such careful detail will help vivify the principles of war for those who would study the profession of arms.

    It seems particularly appropriate that this volume is going to the printer during a year when the Army is emphasizing the theme of training. It is important to study carefully such a recent and important example of an American army performing superbly against great odds. I encourage the military student and veteran alike to take advantage of the insights into our profession imparted in the pages that follow.


    While it is true that history does not repeat it may often rhyme and the same holds true in battle/war.

    The point is not that the current unpleasantness in Ukraine follows a similar trajectory or outcome as that of Korean War but rather battles/wars frequently ebb & flow with one side advancing while the opposing side suffers reverses.

    Unfortunately Russia’s poorly planned, led and executed invasion of Ukraine has left the barn door wide open to uncontrolled escalatory spiral that places the lives of billions of people not party to this conflict at risk.

  5. JamesT says:

    Things must be really dire for the Russians. The twitter handle ‘Russians With Attitude’ has gotten very quiet. Not so much attitude these days.

  6. Wyatt Ourth and Longearp says:

    In 4 regions, 98% voted to join the Russian Federation. Wait, where’s the link? If there’s no link the information might be considered questionable.

  7. Jovan P says:


    what’s the ground for your assumption that the Ukranian mobiks fight or will fight better than the Russian ones?

    Isn’t it fair to say that with the season of Rasputitsa it is much more easier for the Russians to defend their positions than for the Ukrainians to be on the offensive?

    • TTG says:

      Jovan P,

      Ukrainian men stayed to enlist when the war started. Thousands who lived overseas came back to Ukraine to fight. Those mobilized reservists are already acquitting themselves well on the battlefield. Don’t hear of any Russians going back to Russia to enlist.

      Rasputitsa does favor the defense.

      • Stefan says:


        I was in Ireland in April. I saw more than a few fighting age Ukrainian men there. Radio news at the time mentioned Ukrainian troops at border crossings keeping fighting age men from leaving. It is my understanding that the government banned fighting age men from leaving the country. It didn’t stop a large amount from doing so anyway. Ireland had taken around 10,000 Ukrainians by the time I left and more than a few should have been fighting back home. The big issue in Ireland was lack of housing before the Ukrainian issue, but Dublin pledged to take 50,000+ anyway.

        An Irish radio news outlet pointed out many teen aged boys were coming into Ireland alone, being sent by their families because Ukraine was drafting young teenaged boys into the fight.

        It is also interesting to remember some 100,000 Americans fled internationally during Vietnam to avoid the draft, another 250,000 or so were accused and charged with various draft related crimes.

        • TTG says:


          I don’t doubt your stories at all. But over 66,000 Ukrainians returned to fight in the first two weeks after the invasion. That’s when it looked like a suicide move. In the first 100 days, two million men and women returned to aid the war effort in one way or another.

  8. mcohen says:

    Starobilsk.probably a space station.

  9. Barbara Ann says:

    Who gets to play the role of Field Marshall Paulus in the forthcoming drama?

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