SITREP 4/4/23: Huge Tuesday Update Bonanza

Let’s start with the biggest news of the last few days, the murder of Maxim Fomin, aka Vladlen Tatarsky in a St. Petersburg, Russia café bomb blast. Though it is a self-evidently tragic event, I will not spend much time on covering it for the simple fact that, to be quite frank, it has no real military relevance, and its significance is already being wildly overblown and used by the infamous 2D Bloggers, Doomers, 5th and 6th Columnists, etc., as another in a long series of ‘signs’ that Russia is collapsing, that Putin has lost the plot, etc—which was, quite frankly, the intended effect of the perpetrators of the crime.

The fact was, the terrorist brought a small bomb which could be smuggled in to anywhere, from anywhere, and committed an assassination, which likewise can be done anywhere. All the statements like ‘the Kremlin can’t even protect their own people’ etc., are red herrings given the fact that Tatarsky was a military blogger from the Donbass, visiting a cafe in St. Petersburg on his own volition. I’m not exactly sure how he falls under the purview of the Kremlin’s defense obligations. It’s just another terror act done as misdirection by a desperate AFU, to take attention away from their ensuing collapse in Bakhmut and elsewhere. Beyond being very sad and tragic for Vladlen, the event has no real significance.

Also, the current timeline of events states that Vladlen’s security, or that of the café, did in fact prevent the statue/bomb from being given to Vladlen initially, as one report says Darya—the perpetrator—initially came to him empty handed and said she had a gift but that it was detained by security as they feared it might be a bomb. Vladlen then waved it over and said it was all right to give it to him:

Update on the bombing in St. Petersburg: – The package was not allowed in by security – The bomber, Darja started talking to Vladlen from her seat during the event – She said “I brought you a figurine as present” – He asked “Where is it?” – She said “They said it may be a bomb, so it’s at the entrance with the security” – He asked for it to be brought forward -> Couple of minutes later he was dead and dozens of people injured.

So, it seems security did in fact do their job. For those who want to see the fullest reconstruction of events, you can do so here: VIDEO. But warning, it is graphic.

And here is a short RT retrospective in memory of Vladlen and who he was: VIDEO. The one interesting thing is the mention that he was the first person to suggest the use of drones for aerial reconnaissance. Don’t know how true that is, but, for anyone who’s followed his large Telegram channel, you would know that he was by far the largest proponent of Russia’s drone programs, not only helping to organize drone deliveries to the frontlines, but repeatedly going on various Russian TV programs, along with Rybar, to speak about the various issues surrounding drone deliveries, usage, etc. So in that regard, his leadership in this field will be a major loss.

Lastly, for their part, Putin has rewarded him posthumously with the Order of Courage, and on top of that, Wagner’s Prigozhin has posthumously enrolled Vladlen into Wagner in order that his wife, child, and family will receive the full financial benefits afforded to fallen Wagner fighters. Translated official document:

Not to mention:

St. Petersburg authorities will pay 1 million rubles to Vladlen’s family, 500 thousand rubles to the seriously wounded, and 250 thousand rubles to the rest of the victims, the governor said.

“I consider it necessary to award Maxim Fomin (Vladlen) posthumously with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland”

Deputy Dmitry Kuznetsov personally addressed Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with this request.

The parliamentarian also assured that the authorities will take care of Vladlen’s family.


Now onto other things. Let us turn to Bakhmut, where Russian forces continue to advance district by district. There are more than the usual amount of districts which are currently ‘contested’ rather than fully confirmed as captured one way or the other, so we have several maps which don’t fully align with each other, as it depends on the source and how they chose to color it in. However one has it as follows, with the light pink color representing the newly taken districts:

Some of these are confirmed for the fact that Prigozhin himself placed the Russian flag on top of the Bakhmut administrative capital in the exact center of the city at geolocation coordinates: 48.589220, 38.000804.

The eminent Suriyak mapper has the center as follows:

With the wider view along these lines:

Here’s an annotated map which describes some of the new actions:

AFU is said to control only 15% of the city now. That doesn’t mean Russia controls 85% yet as there is a good portion in ‘gray zone’ which neither side controls, but the actual areas under full control of the AFU amount to 15%.

Animation of the last week or so of progress:

But now, there is a rumor that Ukraine’s buildup and readiness for the ‘big offensive’ is climaxing. This could be read as a possible reaction to Wagner’s progress in Bakhmut as Ukraine would likely be desperate to launch a new offensive, particularly if it’s the big one in the south, to not only take attention away from Bakhmut, but to possibly draw Russian forces away to give Bakhmut breathing room.

“They report on combat readiness in all directions and the likely start of the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today there were radio interceptions of enemy communications, which also indicated preparations for an offensive.”

Kharkov SBU is conducting a large-scale special operation. There are mass detentions of everyone who is subscribed to a number of Russian Telegram channels. This fact may indicate preparations for the offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, the SBU is trying to clean up potential pro-Russian agents in order to minimize leaks of information about the movements of its troops on the eve of the start of the offensive.

Rybar: The preparation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the counteroffensive is being completed. Additional forces are expected to arrive at the Orekhovsky sector. According to some reports, Ukrainian formations may begin the active phase of the offensive in the coming days.

Also, if you watched the small RT retrospective for Vladlen Tatarsky I posted at the beginning, you’ll note that in his final transmission he stated his prediction that the big Ukrainian offensive will come “between Easter and May 9th.”

Easter in the West is April 9th though I can only assume he’s referring to Orthodox Easter, which is April 16th.

There have been accumulations of equipment in the Svatove direction as well, which could correspond to the above posted Kharkov rumors. The next ‘big offensive’ will likely be multi-directional in order to distract and misdirect Russian forces as much as possible, and so the Svatovo-Kremennaya direction is almost certainly going to be hit hard as well.

Though it should be noted that some believe this is all a diversion:

The enemy has problems: “There will be no counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in April, and all information about 2-3 weeks is a throw-in. The APU will continue to probe the positions of the Russian army in the South, but these will be pinpoint operations aimed at blurring the attention of the Russian Armed Forces as much as possible, so that they do not understand when the main strike will begin. The President’s office hurries Zaluzhny, but he is against hasty actions. Defeat in the Azov operation may cost Ukraine too much – the army will lose the best units trained, albeit quickly, in the West.”

But let’s dissect and unpack everything we know so far, as there are a few new interesting details.

Firstly, it is being reported by top Ukrainian channel Legitmny that a secret backdoor deal entrusted Ukraine with the fancy new Western tanks under the express orders that they not be used in any ‘forefront’ operation—both offensive or defensive. Of course, that leaves one bewilderedly asking—if you can’t use them for offense or defense, what the hell are they for, exactly?

However, as the Legitmny report states, (desperate) ‘negotiations are ongoing’ for Kiev to convince their masters to allow them to use the tanks for the role they were made for.

This comes on the heels of the first footage showing a British Challenger-2 (presumably already armed with Depleted Uranium ammo) ‘in the wild’ in Ukraine. However, the footage is reportedly from Zhytomir, west of Kiev, where one of UA’s largest training centers exists, and where I believe defense minister Reznikov had previously made videos receiving the tanks.

So, there is still no evidence that any of these new Western tanks are anywhere near the frontlines, although there continue to be various rumors. For instance, Wagner/Prigozhin had stated there are already Leopards in Chasov Yar just west of Bakhmut, and if it is true, it likely goes towards proving the aforementioned stipulation about not using them on the front. The AFU appears to be chafing to use them but can’t quite commit them.

A member of Russian BARS-23 detachment also stated in a video interview there are allegedly Leopards in Ugledar, but so far no evidence:

There are 10 leopards in Ugledar. This information was reported to the wargonzo project by the commander of BARS-23 of the Union of Donbass Volunteers with the call sign “Viking”.

Now, a few other things to note on the Bakhmut direction specifically, apropos any possible coming offensive in that sector. In terms of laying out the numbers, many people are confused as to what the real troop distributions in that region are. Partly, this confusion stems from Ukraine’s own deliberate misleading statements about being vastly outnumbered by ‘Russian orc hordes’ when in reality it’s the opposite.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that 6 thousand fighters of the Wagner PMC and up to 30,000 former prisoners who signed a contract with the Wagner PMC are storming Artemivsk.

According to other sources, the total Wagner group in the city does not exceed 15,000 people, who hold down the Artemivsk group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (up to 5 brigades in the city itself), which reaches a total number of 70-80 thousand people after the transfer of reserves from other directions.

Here’s one map attempting to show the troop dispositions:

Each blue soldier icon is 1,000 troops. The entire region surrounding Bakhmut according to this map has roughly 80k+ troops, but Bakhmut itself shows 14k. Given that the above pasted statement alleges that around 15k Wagner are in Bakhmut city itself, this could give us ballpark figures to work with.

This one below is another take:


What do Banderites cook?

Earlier, I already posted information about new brigades that are preparing for the offensive. Information was received about two more brigades:

The 41st mechanized brigade is a new mechanized brigade of the Ground Forces of Ukraine. The formation was announced by the Odessa territorial recruiting center, which is part of the local military administration.

The Consolidated Rifle Brigade is a new unit formed on the basis of the Wild Duck combined detachment, created back in 2014. The brigade was formed as part of the Ukrainian Air Force, primarily from guard battalion fighters.

With a high degree of probability, 2 brigades of marines and 2 brigades of paratroopers will be thrown in the area of Kakhovka and Kherson. While the rest will advance in the Zaporozhye region – 2 artillery brigades, 11 mechanized and 4 infantry (shooters and rangers). Plus divisions already existing. It is quite possible that up to 60,000-80,000 can be assembled in the Zaporozhye direction and about 8,000-10,000 in the Kherson direction. The denouement is near.

And in confirmation of what I wrote in previous reports, we have the following info:

⚡️⚡️ ⚡️#Inside

MI6 passed on intelligence to the Office of the President and the General Staff that Russia had stopped conducting massive strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in order to stockpile missiles. The Russian General Staff is preparing for the Ukrainian counteroffensive and is building significant reserves of all types of weapons.

Also, interestingly, in NYTimes latest exposé on mercenaries in Ukraine, they reported that initial estimates of Foreign Legion numbers in the AFU were 20,000, but now sources indicate it’s closer to 1,500. Many are reporting this to mean the Foreign Legion was almost entirely destroyed:

🪖 The foreign legion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is almost destroyed – The New York Times

There are no more than 1.5 thousand combat-ready mercenaries in Ukraine, and there were about 20 thousand.

The truth is likely a combination of factors, such as that a large number of them fled after they witnessed the intensity of the fighting. Some percentage of the number could have been initially inflated as well, so I don’t think that it necessarily means exactly 18,500 mercenaries died per se, but I do think it’s a small window into the truth, and that there are likely far more mercenary casualties than the other side wants to admit.

Currently, mercenaries are clustered in two directions: in the village of Sinkovo on the border of the Kharkiv region and the LPR, in order to defend positions in the Kupyansky direction, and in the west along the borders with Transnistria, where the work of Ukrainian DRGs has intensified in order to probe the state of forces of the Transnistrian grouping of the RF Armed Forces.

Another interesting tidbit was that Prigozhin recently revealed that previous commander of Russian operations, General Surovikin, was in fact the one directly responsible for the development of the Bakhmut plans:

The head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that General Surovikin was directly involved in the development of the plan for the Bakhmut operation.

Prigozhin on the role of Surovikin in the battle for Artemovsk:

“The decision to conduct the Bakhmut operation, the so-called Bakhmut meat grinder, was made by the commanders of the Wagner PMC. Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin was directly involved in its development and implementation, at the time when he led the group. And therefore, I would attribute a huge number of decisions that were made to his account.

This confirms two more of my own previous assertions made in past articles, which are that: 1.) Wagner is not some lone rogue outfit making their own decisions and doing what they want, but that in fact they are fully controlled by the Russian military command. And 2.) that Wagner is staffed top to bottom with not only Russian military commanders, many of them ex-Russian Army who moved ‘laterally’ over to Wagner, but that Prigozhin himself—who has zero military or command experience—does not conduct the orchestra, so to speak. He’s just the public mouthpiece and spokesman, in a sense. The actual military planning and conduct is carried out by real commanders of the Russian Armed Forces.

Also, Vostok Battalion commander Khodakovsky had this interesting thing to say, which confirms some of my ideas:


Of course, we cannot understand all the nuances, but what is available to our understanding says one thing: shift the focus to defense. In this regard, I am close to the position of Surovikin, who comes to the same conclusions. I have been saying this for a long time, as you know, and I start from the fact that for a victorious offensive you need to accumulate resources and first wear down the enemy. Offensive failures are not only the numbers of direct losses, but also a negative effect that spreads in the troops. This effect is, perhaps, even worse than losses if they result in a result.

I have noticed that the desire to attack against obvious counter-indications most often arises where the orders to attack have a personal background. Thank God, I am deprived of selfish reasons to desire a result at any cost, and when I saw an opportunity to attack, I attacked. When we approached the walls of Mariupol, I studied the situation and set a task for the unit. I considered it both necessary and feasible. We started storming the city, when suddenly they took away half of the battalion from me to another sector, accompanying this with a comment: you, they say, cut these assault tasks for yourself – we periodically have internal “features” here.

Basically, he’s stating that Russia’s ‘defensive’ posture over the Winter was infact a Surovikin brainchild. And since Prigozhin already confirmed the same for Bakhmut, that means the entire idea for preserving and stockpiling the Russian army while using Wagner as the winter distraction in Bakhmut, was in fact a long term strategic plan by Surovikin to rebuild Russia’s munitions for the coming mass offensives of the future, when the mobilized forces would be ready to commit to battle.

On this note, the following section seals it for us:

Many people, particularly on the Ukrainian side, have recently babbled about ‘Russia’s failed Winter Offensive’. Western articles are written with this narrative in mind, that Russia had actually prosecuted a major ‘Winter Offensive’, and now that winter has come to an end, it has shown to be a failure due to not much new territory being gained.

However, new data proves that once again my previous reports were accurate in that there was no ‘Winter Offensive’—in fact the Russian Army has mostly gone into a sort of hibernation starting from last November-December, where it was decided that a draw-down period would ensue in order to stockpile mass amounts of munitions for the future Spring and onward offensives.

The following charts from MediaZona, the most authoritative source available in counting confirmed Russian casualties, proves this:

These charts show the confirmed Russian weekly casualties in Ukraine in 3 separate categories, the first on the left is Tankers, then Artillery, and Pilots. Note how in each case, in November 2022, the weekly casualties almost completely disappeared. In the case of pilots, there has been a single confirmed casualty since after December.

Now, compare this to two key charts showing the casualties of ‘Russian Inmates’ and ‘Private Military Contractors (PMCs)’ for the same time period:

Notice anything? Exactly at the time that Russian troop casualties completely fell off to near zero, the casualties of ‘Inmates’ meteorically skyrocketed, followed by PMCs.

This very clearly tells the tale I had already described in previous articles: In November of last year, the Russian Army went into full hibernation/training mode. The reason is, the end of October was when the final mobilizations were conducted. That means the final tranche of mobilized troops were shipped to training centers for their 3 month+ training period, which covered that entire period of November onward.

While the mobilization training was being conducted, the Russian army proper drew down while Wagner initiated the massive Battle of Bakhmut. This corresponds to exactly the period (November) where Ukrainian sources repeatedly stated that Russian artillery dropped from 50-60k shells fired per day, to 10k+.

Furthermore, the Wagner losses confirms to us that Prigozhin’s numbers were spot on and truthful: he stated a while back that Wagner “loses 20 men per day in Bakhmut on a good day, and 50 men on a bad day.” Take the median of that at 35 and multiply by 7 days of the week = you get 245 casualties per week. And if you add the numbers from the chart above, it shows many weeks with over 100 casualties for “Inmates” and 30-40 for ‘PMC’ for a total of ~150ish per week.

Of course, Wagner’s losses might actually be closer to the lower end of the scale because the ‘good’ days could greatly outnumber the ‘bad days’, since Prigozhin didn’t say that the ‘bad days’ were actually frequent. So if we calculate that Wagner actually lost closer to 20-25 per day, times 7 = we get 140-175, and that almost exactly matches many of the weeks in the charts.

Of course, to remind you, we have multiple levels of confirmation that at the same time the AFU was losing 200-500 per day, which would be about 1400-3500 per week. This video is just one such confirmation. The AFU officer there in fact clearly states they lose 1 or 2 companies (150-200 men) per day, or a battalion (800-1000) per week. And I’ve posted it before, but this Australian mercenary who fights in Bakhmut likewise confirmed these facts where he openly stated that Wagner loses far less men than people think, and that AFU has monstrously more casualties than Wagner—and this is coming from a merc on their own side.

By the way, some might argue that MediaZona’s numbers are under-counted because they themselves insist their numbers could be representative of only 60-80% of true losses, due to the fact that they can’t verify every single loss. However, this is mostly a face-saving attempt to pump up Russian losses. The fact is, these are Western intel-agency sponsored outfits with gigantic budgets and large amounts of analysts weeding through the data, and I believe it’s much closer to the truth than they’d like to admit, particularly since it perfectly aligns with Prigozhin’s own estimates.

And at the end of the day, the fact is, even if you doubled their casualties, it would still mean Wagner forces are inflicting anywhere from a 2:1 to 4:1 kill ratio on the AFU.

From yesterday’s new NYTimes article, also comes this admission:

Interestingly, the same article even states that Ukraine has attempted to counter Wagner’s use of inmates by bringing their own cannon-fodder in order to save their better soldiers from the meatgrinder:

Preparing for the counteroffensive has come at a cost.

Russia has used convicts and mercenaries to wear down the enemy in the monthslong fight at Bakhmut, stretching Ukraine’s exhausted, battered soldiers to the limit. Ukraine has tried to avoid taking the bait, deploying volunteer Territorial Defense units and delaying rotations.

But as this AFU soldier in Bakhmut so eloquently put it only days ago: “On our side the best people are dying, but from their side only prisoners and Wagner.”

And it’s interesting that even despite Russia’s artillery drawdown, we have reports like the following:

And on the topic of artillery and arms in general, a few new interesting updates. Firstly, Russian leadership continues to visit the top arms enterprises, from Medvedev’s recent visits to missile and artillery munition factories to Putin’s visit happening as we speak today, to Tulazheldormash, one of Russia’s largest heavy equipment manufacturers.

A new report states that by the end of 2023, the production of certain types of shells/munitions will have increased by 7 or 8 times.

⚡️⚡️⚡️Work is in full swing at Russian defense enterprises

By the end of 2023, the production of single product samples of defense enterprises that produce ammunition will increase seven to eight times⚡️⚡️⚡️

This is important to note apropos one of my recent reports, where I went into detail about Russian artillery shell numbers, and how they are currently likely in the 300k+ per month range (3.5m+ per year) which is only good enough to fire about 10,000 shells per day. However, I stated how this will likely increase to at least 7 million per year in a year’s time, give or take. But according to this, it could very well increase 7 or 8 times, allowing Russia to return to firing 50-60k shells per day. With that said, that’s still a long time away.

On this topic, Mark Milley and the entire military staff of the U.S. are apparently only just now realizing how deep in over their head they’ve gotten vis a vis the artillery shell war:

Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, said at a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon is reviewing the volume of ammunition production, taking into account the fighting in Ukraine.

“One of the main lessons of Ukraine is the incredible consumption of conventional ammunition, despite the fact that we are talking about a limited regional conflict… In a war between great powers, if it ever happens, God forbid, the ammunition consumption will be incredible, ” he said.

Milley added that special attention is paid to 155 mm shells.

Ukraine and Russia have spent huge amounts of artillery ammunition since February 2022, raising concerns about the amount of ammunition the United States has supplied to Kiev. “In Ukraine, we learned a big lesson, which is the incredible rate of consumption of conventional ammunition in what is really a limited regional war,” Milli said.

So he admits the U.S. is learning a lesson, which means they had no way of estimating or gaming the vast amounts of artillery a great power would need to fight another great power. The problem is, as I reported last time, the U.S.’s timetable for increasing its artillery capabilities just to 98,000 shells per month has recently been given as the year 2028 (meanwhile Russia is already at 300k+ per month and will be vastly increasing that this year alone).

Milley’s morale morass.

Lockheed, too, is having major issues trying to increase their HIMARs production:

A lack of machines and test equipment is posing a stumbling block to the company’s production of GMLRS missiles – used for HIMARS systems, according to Defense One.

The company is also struggling with finding workers as many of its production lines are situated far from cities. (RIA)

In the quoted article, a Lockheed rep openly gives their figures:

Lockheed is currently at its full annual production capacity of 10,000 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, or GMLRS, rockets, said Becky Withrow, Lockheed’s director of business development for tactical missiles in an interview Tuesday during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium. 

So they’re currently producing 10k HIMARs missiles per year, which is about 27 per day or 800+ per month. Since a HIMARs truck fires 6 of them per salvo, this is enough for Ukraine to fire off less than 5 salvos per day. However, not all of those missiles can be allocated to Ukraine alone, they’re needed globally for a variety of American customers who’ve purchased HIMARs, as well as for U.S.’s own troops, as thousands are needed per year for training purposes. That means Ukraine is likely only getting a fraction of that—which means they’re likely only able to fire at most 3-4 salvos per day. That might be “ok” for precisely hitting some strategic targets, but in reality, for a high-intensity war scenario, that is a laughable pittance, and it explains why they rarely fire HIMARs anymore.

But the more striking statement from Lockheed in the article was:

The company is adding tooling and testing machines so that it can make 14,000 of the rockets in 2024, Withrow said. But doubling annual production would likely take two or more years, she said.

So even after large machine and workforce upgrades, they’ll only be able to increase production from 10k to 14k by 2024, and “doubling” the production so Ukraine might be able to fire a pitiful 6-8 salvos per day rather than the laughable 3-4 will take more than two years. Cue the laugh track.

In fact the most eye-opening part of the article is where Lockheed admits that they have a high-tech component bottleneck:

Finally, there are supply-chain problems, Withrow said. Certain components for GMLRS rockets are also needed for other missiles; she noted that there are only two rocket-motor manufacturers in the United States. She also said that one GMLRS subcontractor also makes components for another in-demand missile—the anti-tank Javelin—and increasing production for one would mean taking workers away from the other.

Remember when Russia was made fun of by the West for supposedly not having enough high-tech parts to build their most advanced systems?

Shoigu, meanwhile, confirmed days ago that Russia had increased all types of ammo productions by vast amounts, both conventional and precision systems.

In fact, Yuriy Ignat, the Ukrainian airforce spokesman, stated that Russia is now launching 20 of the new glide-bombs per day

From the Ukrainian site which reported it:

“There is no lull, the enemy’s aviation is working. They began to use gliding bombs that can fly tens of kilometers – up to 70 km. The enemy uses 10-15, up to 20 bombs a day along the entire contact line from Su-35 and Su-34 aircraft, which are not included in the affected area of our air defense,” Ignat said.

Recently, Russia has actively started using guided aerial bombs. Usually, the enemy uses Soviet-era FAB-500 bombs, which are retrofitted with wings and GPS navigation. Ignat noted that usually these bombs of the Russian Federation are not very accurate, so they pose a great threat to civilian objects.

What’s most interesting about this, is that the famed Russian FighterBomber channel, which has direct official ties to the Russian Airforce, stated the following days ago:

Fighterbomber: There, the ministers of our industry and defense spoke about a multiple increase in the production of ammunition.

I don’t know how for all ammunition, but UMPCs (this is the new Russian JDAM-equivalent glide-bomb) alone, at existing capacities and component bases, can be produced in the hundreds … per day. On the day, Carl!

And, accordingly, they will fly into crests not in two or three dozen pieces a day, as is happening today, but also in hundreds.

Well, the news, which will please crests very much.

One and a half is ready. It is put in a series. Since the UMPC turned out to be different for it, it flies to completely different ranges, which everyone will undoubtedly appreciate.

Given the accuracy comparable to HIMARS, and the fact that Ukrainians have nothing to shoot them down, you can try to launch them over bridges. The dope in them is immeasurable.

And if it is still some kind of FAB-1500-2600TS, then it’s very good.

Coming soon…

In short, he states that even by current today’s manufacturing capacities, these UMPC (Unified Planning and Correction Module) bombs can be produced in the hundreds per day. Honestly, that means the bottleneck now is not the production of the bombs themselves, but the actual fighter craft and pilots that can launch them. Russia is averaging 150-250 sorties a day, but that’s including combat/non-combat, fixed/rotary wing, UAV/recon, etc. Actual combat/strike sorties may be a tiny fraction of that, so you would need to greatly up the amount of fixed wing craft and pilots to fully utilize the productive capacities of hundreds of new glide-bombs.

She may not look pretty, but apparently has the AFU worried sick.

Here’s new footage claiming to show Ukrainian positions in Zaporozhe region hit with these UMPC bombs: VIDEO.

For their part, however, the AFU too is reportedly using newly supplied JDAMs from the U.S., as per the same Yuriy Ignat:

Ukrainian aviation is already using JDAM bombs — spokesman of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Ignat. The speaker stated this during the telethon. According to him, Ukraine already uses bombs with JDAM kits, which were supplied from the United States. “These bombs are slightly less powerful, but extremely high — precision,” Ignat said.

Earlier, deliveries of JDAM-ER planning bombs for the Ukrainian Armed Forces were announced, allowing them to hit targets at a distance of up to 72 km when dropped from a height of 14 km. Recently, the Russian Aerospace Forces have also significantly increased the number of their own planning bombs used, mainly due to new sets of UMPK, which is an analog of the American JDAM-ER.

With that said, it has proven the wunderwaffen dud we all expected, as there is no reports of any success with this miracle weapon whatsoever, likely owing to the fact that they have only 1 or 2 aircraft capable of even launching it.

NYT – “Western support has been solid so far but is not guaranteed. The U.S. budget for military assistance, for example, is now expected to run out by around September, and a senior American defense official recently described the latest tranche of artillery rounds and rockets sent to Ukraine as a last ditch effort.”

Also, on a similar tack, Ukraine has been now complaining to the Western press about how Russian fighter jets are setting ‘traps’ for them:

“Russia is setting sophisticated “traps” to ambush Ukrainian fighter jets, one of Kyiv’s top pilots has revealed.

Major Vadym Voroshylov has told how every day it is becoming harder to keep the Russians at bay using outdated Soviet aircraft as he pleadedfor the West to send F-16 fighter jets.

Major Voroshylov, who in a rare break from the front line met with The Telegraph, warned: “The Russians change tactics all the time, so the war isn’t stable. They make traps. They will send up a Russian jet alone, tricking the Ukrainian pilot into thinking there is only one jet. Then, two or three more will appear either side of it, effectively swarming the Ukrainian aircraft.” – Telegraph (

For those wondering how Ukraine still has planes to even fly, well the very article above states that ‘in recent weeks both Poland and Slovakia have sent them more Mig-29’s’.

A Ukrainian pilot confirmed the power of the famed Irbis-E radar of the Su-35:

“The radars on Russian jets are about four times better than what we have and they can see much further. As well, the Russian missiles are significantly more capable than our Soviet ones. It is getting more dangerous. Sometimes we can’t even see that the Russians have launched missiles, which is very dangerous for pilots.”

He explained how Russia has the capability to launch an attack from 200km away from the front line, whereas Ukraine has to be much closer to the enemy in order to shoot, which is far more dangerous.

The funniest part was the article quotes ‘Ukraine’s most famous pilot’—his claim to fame? Being shot down by a Flying Dorito, aka Shahed/Geran drone:

At just 29-years-old Major Voroshylov, who goes by the callname “Karaya”, has become the most famous fighter jet pilot in Ukraine. In part, it is due to his huge following on social media but also after he was celebrated by President Zelensky following an incident while out on patrol which forced him to eject from his jet which he directed into a field to crash safely. 

He was flying in the evening when the Russians launched a number of drones. In order to get a better radar look at the drones, he flew closer and after taking out two of them, the second explosion destroyed his windshield, forcing him to eject.

But, the earlier New York Times quote about last ditch efforts brings me to an interesting idea. As we all know, in many ways U.S.’s assistance to Ukraine is historic, however it is clear that U.S. could have gone much farther than they have. For instance, the U.S. refuses to give Abrams tanks, apart from some token amount that’s tied to stringent stipulations about their use, when U.S. has 3500+ Abrams in storage just as part of their reserve.

Similarly, the U.S. airforce has nearly 1000 F-16’s alone, yet refuses to give Ukraine a single one. And this is not counting the 1200-1500 other strike craft they have like F-18’s, F-15’s, F-22’s, F-35’s, etc. Surely even giving 100 F-16’s, which could create a big dent on the battlefield, would hardly be a drop in the bucket for them.

But here’s where one theory comes in: which is that the U.S. doesn’t actually want Ukraine to even come close to ‘overwhelmingly’ winning against Russia. The reason is, the U.S. likely believes that Russia is ‘close’ to a precipice, both politically and societally, where Russia could escalate to a whole new unprecedented level which would lead to a very fast total destruction of Ukraine.

By this we mean, for instance: 1.) declaring a new mobilization for another 500k troops. 2.) declaring outright war on Ukraine, which would open up massive new protocols, from the use of conscripts (opening up hundreds of thousands of troops instantaneously) to the doctrinal strikes on Kiev leadership and infrastructure beyond anything they’ve done before, etc.

So the point would be that, the U.S. likely believes the only chance the West has of winning, is by slow-boiling the frog. This would constitute creating a very gradual morass for Russia such that there is never quite the political initiative or urgency/impetus for total mobilization and conversion to war-footing, which could give Ukraine a chance, as it would continue slowly eroding Putin’s public standing, political power and trust (by way of targeted, organized Western NGO/psyop/propaganda attacks, of course).

And I believe there’s a chance that they’ve gamed this out and found that this is the only path to possible victory. Basically: keeping Russia in a perpetual lower-intensity slow-boil situation, particularly given that this is the only thing which would allow the West’s arms industries to ‘catch up’ and stand a chance of supplying Ukraine with a commensurate volume of arms.

In short, the U.S. likely fears that if they push too hard, cross too many red lines, they will open a pandora’s box from which Ukraine will never re-emerge. A mass Russian escalation to a true ‘total war’ scenario would completely overwhelm and drown Ukraine. Like I said, at the end of the day, the U.S. has 2,500 active Abrams with another 3,500 sitting in storage. They could easily flood Ukraine with tanks if they really wanted to. But I believe behind closed doors, Russia has made the consequences known. And a ‘total war’ declaration on Ukraine would bring a swift end to the war long before such thousands of tanks even arrived. And for the record, this is likely the main reason why Putin has held out for so long still calling it the ‘SMO’, because he is deliberately leaving ‘headroom’ above for this very contingency—so that the West knows the next seismic scale escalation level Russia still has left to take as a warning.

The thing is, Putin would like to do this cleanly—that’s the ‘preferable’ option. But he can do it the much more messy way if absolutely brought to the brink. And by messy I don’t simply mean no-holds barred unleashed warfare that’s opposite to the ‘gentlemanly’ style currently utilized, but rather I speak of the economic factors. Putin would like to maintain the status quo in society, keep the economy developing and as insulated and protected against the war shocks as possible. But if brought to the brink, he could take the economy to full war footing which would crush Ukraine fast, but would result in quite serious economic damage to Russia. Of course it won’t be irreparable damage, but nonetheless it is simply the more unpleasant option that is not the first go-to.

The West knows this, and they would like to avoid that. They believe their stronger chance lies in causing Putin not to ‘overplay’ his hand, but rather to ‘underplay’ it, but continuing the slow-roll gentlemanly war which suits the West much better while they use the ostensibly ‘perceived failure’ of it as a weapon to slowly erode Russian society, cause tension and morale fractures, to ultimately try to overthrow Putin.

For the record: both methods would fail, but they like their chances better with this one.

A few last disparate things. Russian enterprises for drone-building are popping up everywhere: Video of FPV Drones being 3-D printed in Russia en masse.

And in the AFU, they continue to complain of the vast amount of drones they are losing in Bakhmut alone:

APU lost half of drones in Artemivsk due to inexperienced operators: details.
Since the beginning of March, seven units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Artemivsk have experienced serious losses of drones used for aerial reconnaissance. The highest losses of quadrocopters were recorded in units of the 113rd, 125th and 241st territorial defense brigades, as well as in units and formations of the 56th motorized infantry, 77th airmobile, 67th, 92nd and 93rd mechanized brigades located in the immediate vicinity of the front line.

According to RT, the” life expectancy ” of each APU quadcopter in the Artemovsk area has been reduced from ten sorties in the first two months of the battle for Artemovsk (Bakhmut) up to three or five flights in February-March 2023. High losses in drones have led to the fact that the air reconnaissance units of one mechanized battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Artemivsk direction lose from 80 to 150 commercial quadrocopters per month, and one mechanized brigade, not counting the support part, requires from 400 to 500 commercial drones with a camera every month.

According to preliminary data, about 30% of the losses of all drones are not due to electronic warfare systems, small arms fire or shell fragments, but to errors in piloting. The average age of a UAV operator in the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Artemivsk direction has increased to 35-40 years since December 2022, and this figure continues to increase in proportion to the mobilized arriving at the front. An additional impact on the loss of drones is the lack of a centralized training system: those who are mobilized often learn to fly drones not in the rear, but already in the combat zone.

It is very difficult to make up for the loss of drones. Advanced warehouses with quadrocopters purchased by the Armed Forces of Ukraine are located in the range of Russian artillery. In March alone, Russian Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems and special-power 2S7 Pion guns destroyed at least three warehouses with drones in Druzhkovka, Konstantinovka, Chas Yar and Toretsk. The total damage from the destruction of these objects amounted to about 2-3 thousand drones.

So, not only does one battalion alone lose 150 drones per month, one AFU brigade loses 500 per month, but Russia regularly destroys thousands of drones in their strikes.

And interestingly enough on that note, just last night large strikes on Odessa (by Geran kamikaze drones) leveled a drone factory: VIDEO.

From a Ukrainian inside source channel, the damage was said to be:

Odessa, Ukraine.


The result of the strike of the Russian Armed Forces on the Shkolny airfield:

– minus the assembly line; (“minus” in autotranslate means destroyed)
– minus the stock of components (for 380 UAVs);
– minus 1 tanker with aviation fuel;
– minus 16 finished UAVs;
– minus a warehouse with a BC for UAVs;
– plus PEOPLE DID NOT SUFFER (exactly there).

The result of the strike of the Russian Armed Forces on Art. Usatovo:

– minor damage in the BC warehouse;
– minus 9 units. military equipment;
– 3 soldiers were wounded.

This was a factory for larger drones which Kiev uses to hit Crimea an elsewhere. So according to the report 380 drone components were taken out as well as 16 fully finished drones.

And two weeks ago in a sitrep I reported the large scale launch of military recon satellites by Russia. I had said that Russia already had a new one planned to launch a week afterwards, and in fact it did launch several days ago. So that is now three major recon satellites in the span of three weeks launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

The previous one had launched on March 23th, and another one on March 12th. Here’s the previous report which has a lot of details on the types of satellites these are and what their role is, in case you missed it:

One last thing of great interest. The AFU complains that Lancets have destroyed so many of their American M777 and other artillery systems that they’re forced to push them 35km from the frontline. Since the howitzer can only hit 25-35km or so, depending on the ammo type, this effectively means that they can only hit the exact contact line, but none of Russia’s most important ‘rear elements’, like HQ’s and supply lines etc.

And again about the benefits of hands. In the footage, you can see a fire defeat with the use of barrage ammunition “Lancet”. There is a calculation of the 98th Guards Airborne Division. The M777 howitzer is located 35 kilometers from the contact line. The enemy is afraid to put artillery closer to the front and is forced to fire at our front line, it does not reach the rear. Just a few months ago, the regime’s gunners were much more impudent. But when we lost several dozen howitzers and self-propelled guns in 2 weeks, we were forced to delay the artillery. And we felt it right away. Heavy items stopped flying on the second line. And if it does, it’s not very accurate. They work at the maximum range.

It just goes to show how much critical effect the Lancet drone has singlehandedly had on the war.