Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2022

Russia Has Launched Phase Two Of Its Operation In Ukraine

The neo-conservative 'Institute for the Study of War' (ISW) releases daily 'Russian offensive campaign assessments'. A lot of people in Washington DC seem to read them.

They are of course pure propaganda only slightly aligned with the actual tactical situation in the Ukraine. I confess that I read them once a while purely for my amusement.

Their main source seems to be the Ukrainian defense ministry which is of course lying left and right about the state of the war.

This for example is from their assessment from Sunday, April 17:

Russian forces continued to amass on the Izyum axis and in eastern Ukraine, increasingly including low-quality proxy conscripts, in parallel with continuous โ€“ and unsuccessful โ€“ small-scale attacks. Russian forces did not take any territory on the Izyum axis or in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in the past 24 hours. Russian forces deploying to eastern Ukraine reportedly continue to face significant morale and supply issues and appear unlikely to intend, or be able to, conduct a major offensive surge in the coming days. Deputy Ukrainian Minister of Defense Anna Malyar stated on April 17 that the Russian military is in no hurry to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine, having learned from their experience from Kyiv โ€“ but Russian forces continue localized attacks and are likely unable to amass the cohesive combat power necessary for a major breakthrough.

I have no idea how anyone could have come to those conclusions.

  • "appear unlikely to intend, or be able to, conduct a major offensive surge in the coming days"


  • "the Russian military is in no hurry to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine"


  • likely unable to amass the cohesive combat power necessary for a major breakthrough

What are these guys smoking?

Yesterday evening heavy artillery attacks on Ukrainian frontline positions announced the launch of the expected offensive.

Belatedly ISW took note of that:

ISW @TheStudyofWar - 23:40 UTC ยท Apr 18, 2022
#Donetsk and #Luhansk Oblasts Update:
#Russian forces likely began large-scale offensive operations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on April 18. These offensive operations are unlikely to be dramatically more successful than failed operations around #Kyiv.

Today the start of phase two of the Russian operation was officially announced:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow was starting a new stage of what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine which he predicted would be a significant development.

"Another stage of this operation (in eastern Ukraine) is beginning and I am sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation", Lavrov said in an interview with the India Today TV channel.

After the heavy artillery preparations last night several offensives were launched into multiple directions.

Source - bigger

A major one is from Izyum (in the upper left on the map) towards Slovyansk. The distance between the two cities is 27 miles (47km).

Several villages on that route have already been taken. The "low quality proxy conscript" who "continue to face significant morale and supply issues", as ISW claims, might have something to do with that.

Phase two will include the liberation of all of Donetzk and Luhansk as demarcated on the above map by the dashed red lines.  

I expect the whole phase two operation to take four to six weeks with maybe some extra time necessary to clean up the well defended cities Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

Questions remain. Will there be a third phase? What will it include?

Posted by b on April 19, 2022 at 17:49 UTC | Permalink

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The artillery strikes were not heavy enough. What part of "kill the enemy" is Russia's army having a hard time with? There seems to be an unwillingness to treat the Ukranian forces like a real enemy. Instead, we have seen a paternalistic attitude towards the enemy soldiers, an obsession with giving them chances to surrender. That's disgraceful and a betrayal of the soldiers in the field. You can't hit like a bitch and then complain that the enemy isn't crying mercy.

Russia needs a much higher volume of fire, more forces in Ukraine and to mobilize the reserves. There must be an order of magnitude or two increase in the rate of strikes against stationary targets. All of these facilities and depots that Russia brags about hitting should have been hit in the first few days. It's inexcusable to have a missile or tank repair factory standing after month of war.

Russia's PR is getting painful to read as the failure of fighting a war like a bitch is more and more undeniable.

Posted by: EaglePatriot | Apr 20 2022 21:44 utc | 401

BTW, the map shows an opperation to attack the Ukrainian forces concentration from all sides, mostly frontal attacks on fortified positions. Why not encircle them by advancing north across a broad front in Zaporizhia and then continue to take eastern Dnipro? Doing that plus a small advance west of Izyum will create a siege around the fortified positions without attacking into them frontally. A good army would do that.

Posted by: EaglePatriot | Apr 20 2022 22:53 utc | 402

Germans want to ameliorate their image?, very simple, promote your musicians like Friedrich Abel, that will do it a lot better than bimbo Baerbock sucking up to the yanks.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 20 2022 19:32 utc | 395

Ah, thanks! I didn't know him, since I'm not that well versed in classical music.

Posted by: lulu | Apr 20 2022 18:25 utc | 392
Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 20 2022 19:45 utc | 397

Thanks for your replies, with which I concur. The only thing I would have to add is the perspective of Jungian psychology - which I think is a bit too esoteric for this website - since I'm convinced that the whole western world has a huge psychological problem and Germany doubly so. I think both belong on the couch of a psychiatrist.

However, this country could have already taken a better turn if Kaiser Friedrich III. hadn't died so early in 1888, which really was a tragic turn in German history.

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | Apr 21 2022 6:07 utc | 403

Questions remain. Will there be a third phase? What will it include?

The third phase of the special operation in Ukraine - An article by a well-known Russian political scientist about a possible nuclear provocation in Ukraine that the Americans can arrange.

Posted by: alaff | Apr 21 2022 11:12 utc | 404

Dumb and depraved hasn't been done since Dien Bien Phu.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 20 2022 4:42 utc | 262

Now now, the French made one little mistake that borked them thoroughly, judging that no-one could wrestle artillery up onto the mpuntains surrounding the valley.

Posted by: John Kennard | Apr 22 2022 8:23 utc | 405

Only a neolib could imagine 'Tycoon' is a form of flattery - the rest of us remain unsure that it is less derogatory than 'Oligarch'.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 20 2022 6:30 utc | 272

I've noticed that the Slavic countries have "oligarchs" while the NATO countries only have "billionaires."

Like calling corporate plutocrats "moderates."

Posted by: John Kennard | Apr 23 2022 7:02 utc | 406

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