The Russian military is still integrating most of the mobilized 300,000+ men and volunteers. According to Putin 25% of the mobilized forces are in combat units, 25% in rear positions, while 50% train in Russia. It does not look like an imminent all out attack on the Ukrainian front lines is in the cards. The expected large winter attack may not be coming at all. Instead the new forces will rotate through the frontline and only attack locally whenever they see an opportunity.
The Russian do not need to attack. Their task is to demilitarize Ukraine. As long as the Ukrainians come to the front lines and attack the Russians their is no need to launch a large attack on them.
The map from a months ago versus today shows only a few small changes of the front lines.
However, the does not mean that nothing is happening.
Over the last month it was mostly the Ukrainians who attacked all along the front only to run into walls of steel and explosions. They did not manage to break the Russian lines. They tried again and again but failed with high losses.
Russian offenses were mostly confined to the Bakhmut/Artemovsk front where the Wagner private military contractor group has captured multiple Ukrainian trench lines and villages. This usually comes only after the artillery has cleaned the area and the few surviving Ukrainians moved out. The map from a months ago versus today shows small but important differences in that front line.
Source: LiveUAmap – bigger
Tony @Cyberspec1 – 5:46 UTC · Dec 10, 2022
Polish newspaper NDP (Independent Political Journal) believes that without the support of NATO, the fighting in 🇺🇦 would end within a week.
NDP: daily losses of the AFU near Bakhmut reach a battalion (500-800 soldiers), hospitals in the city of Konstantinovka are overcrowded,
The above is not the only source which made that claim.
Big Serge @witte_sergei – 18:32 UTC · Dec 8, 2022
LPR officials claim that Ukraine is transferring up to 500 men *per day* to Bakhmut to replenish losses. Even Arestovych admitted that Russian artillery strength in the sector has a 9 to 1 advantage. Bakhmut is becoming the largest and most costly battle of the war for Ukraine.
Newsweek spoke with a ‘former’ U.S. Colonel who, together with ‘volunteers’, trains Ukrainian soldiers. Here is what he says about Ukrainian losses:
“Bakhmut is like Dresden, and the countryside looks like Passchendaele,” he said, referring to the German city destroyed by allied bombing in World War II and the infamously muddy and bloody World War I battlefield. “It’s just a horrible and miserable place.”
Ukraine closely guards its casualty figures, but its forces are believed to be suffering badly around Bakhmut.
“They’ve been taking extraordinarily high casualties,” Milburn said of the units training with Mozart. “The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated.”
Despite their “tremendous morale,” Milburn said the defenders “have an acute ‘regeneration problem,’ which means getting new recruits into the line as quickly as possible.” This means those being thrown into the fight have little beyond basic training.
“Typically about 80 percent of our intake who are coming off of the line have never even fired a weapon before,” Milburn said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
A unit that has 50% casualties is usually no longer able to fight and must be replaced. But the Ukrainians leave their units on the frontline until nearly nobody is left in them.
So the number of 500 casualties per day on the Bakhmut front seems realistic. Over the last months the daily report of the Russian ministry of defense listed on average some 300 Ukrainian casualties per day. But the ministry does not report the casualties from Bakhmut as the operations of the private military contractor Wagner are not included in it. So the daily total over the last month, despite little movement of the front lines, must have been some 800 dead Ukrainians. In the 30 days between the two maps at the top at least 24,000 Ukrainian soldiers have left the battle field.
It is no wonder that such high numbers can not be replaced.
The mix of dead or wounded will likely be 1 to 1 as medical evacuation from the frontline trenches is extremely difficult. Most wounded will just die there.
It is not only the men that are lost. The equipment they used is mostly lost with them. 24,000 men are the equivalent of 6 to 7 NATO brigades. The German army has now only 8 of those. When I was it that army it had 36 brigades plus significant reserve units. The same large downgrade happened with the general state of NATO. It is not ready for a war with Russia.
The western wounder weapons have done little for Ukraine. The Russians have update their air defense systems to now detect and shoot down HIMARS missiles. They report some 10 to 20 of such kills per day. The shooting down of small and medium sized Ukrainian drones has dropped from 20-30 per day in the summer to 2-3 per day. Either the Ukrainians have run out of drones or the weather has made theirs unusable. Russian drones continue to fly and they help with artillery targeting. The western artillery systems can not be repaired in the field as the Ukrainians lack the training and tools to do that. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Less than 50% of the self-propelled Panzerhaubitze — a class of mobile, long-barreled battlefield guns officially known as PzH2000 howitzers that are widely considered to be among the best-performing weapons of their kind — are on the battlefield at any given time, because they must be taken to Lithuania for repairs, nearly 900 miles from the Kherson front in southern Ukraine, senior German officials said. Germany has so far delivered 14 such weapons, and the Netherlands another five.
Other allies, such as the U.S. and Britain, service the arms they donated to Ukraine in Poland, near the Ukrainian border. But Warsaw has refused to allow Berlin to set up a servicing center in Poland, requesting instead that the German manufacturers provide confidential technical information in order for a Polish state-controlled company to do the work, according to German officials involved in the talks.
There was also a spat over Patriot air defense missiles. Germany offered to station these in east Poland but with German crews. Poland first accepted the offer, then rejected it and said the missiles should go to Ukraine. It then retracted again and will now accept the offer.
The international relation within Europe are getting worse. The German chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared that he wants Germany to be the leading power in Europe. Germany’s neighbors, and most of its own population, are not happy with that.
Over the last five months Latvia has hosted the Russian opposition TV station TVrain. It has now shot it down because TVrain, sending for a Russian audience, also had some positive things to say about Russia. TVrain had survived in Russia for 12 years. In Latvia it lasted only four and a half months.
Alec Luhn @ASLuhn – 19:24 UTC · Dec 9, 2022
.@tvrain journalists have been blacklisted in Latvia & declared a foreign agent in Russia on the same day 🤔
What these anecdotes show is that NATO is slowly falling apart. NATO is losing the proxy war in Ukraine and it is losing it badly. The people know it and it will have consequences. An increasingly authoritarian EU will follow the same path.
But there are powers in NATO that want to prevent that downfall. They will try to get NATO directly into the fight:
NATO’s secretary general warned on Friday that Russia’s war in Ukraine could expand into a wider war with the Atlantic alliance.
The official, Jens Stoltenberg, repeatedly cautioned in news media interviews this week against underestimating the situation in Ukraine and emphasized the wider threat President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia could pose to Europe.
“If things go wrong, they can go horribly wrong,” Mr. Stoltenberg said in an interview released on Friday with the Norwegian journalist Anne Lindmo, in which he added that there was “no doubt” a full-blown war against NATO was a “real possibility.”
“I understand everyone who is tired of supporting Ukraine. I understand everyone who thinks that food prices and the electricity bills are far too high,” he said. “But we have to pay a much higher price if our freedom and peace are threatened through Putin winning in Ukraine.”
Reread that last sentence:
“But we have to pay a much higher price if our freedom and peace are threatened through Putin winning in Ukraine.”
Putin wining in Ukraine, which he is doing, will threaten our freedom and peace?
Russia has no interest in Europe beyond Ukraine’s borders. So how is that suppose to endanger us?
It is bullshit but it is designed to push for NATO entering the war when it becomes obvious to everyone that Russia is wining it.
The Russians see that coming:
NATO countries are increasingly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, with the United States intentionally proceeding with an escalation on this track, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Thursday.
“NATO members are increasingly and directly involved in this conflict. Their support for Kiev is now much diversified than it was a few months ago. This is a reflection of Washington’s intentional policy, obediently pursued by the Europeans, of escalating the conflict. They are playing with fire. The risks are soaring,” Ryabkov said.
Indeed. But Stoltenberg has one thing right:
Mr. Stoltenberg’s comments came two days after he said that Russia was intentionally stalling the war in order to prepare a renewed onslaught against Ukrainian forces next year.
Let us assume that Russia waits until March for its all out attack on Ukraine. In the meantime it continues to grind the Ukrainian army down without itself having significant casualties. The Ukrainian army will by then have lost another 72,000 men. That is probably a third of its current strength. By then its acute ‘regeneration problem’ will have become even more acute. It means that it will then be much weaker.
What plans may Russia have for an all out spring attack?
Dr. Michael Vlahos and Col. Douglas Macgregor are military historians. They have watched the war in Ukraine and recently discussed it. They have come to their own conclusions. Neither believes in the nonsense of a winning Ukraine that the ‘western’ media are trying to sell us. They have ideas how Russia may want to attack.
Part one of their talk is here:
Is the war in Ukraine entering its decisive phase? Pt.1
Why NATO strategic failure? A war of deceit, denial Pt2
What is to be done? Can a corrupted US military be renewed? Pt.3
Each of those videos is some 30-50 minutes long. But it is content on a higher level than what you will see in other talk shows. I highly recommend these.