Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 10, 2022

Ukraine - Russian Military Explains Its Withdrawal From The Izium Region

Since September 4, when the Ukrainian operation north of Izium started, the Russia Defense Ministry had said nothing about the issue.

Today it finally published a statement (machine translation):

Statement by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense

In order to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbass, a decision was made to regroup the Russian troops stationed in the Balakleya and Izyum regions to build up efforts in the Donetsk direction.

To this end, within three days, an operation was carried out to curtail and organize the transfer of the Izyum-Balakley group of troops to the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.

During this operation, a number of distraction and demonstration activities were carried out with the designation of the real actions of the troops.

In order to prevent damage to Russian troops, a powerful fire defeat was inflicted on the enemy using aviation, missile troops and artillery.

Over three days, more than two thousand Ukrainian and foreign fighters were destroyed, as well as over a hundred units of armored vehicles and artillery.

(Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)

Has that been the plan all along?

In retrospect that seems likely. The Russian military must have know that the Ukrainian attack was coming. There was only light resistance against the Ukrainian attack. Major Russian units had already been moved out of the area. The region did not have any public priority in Russian planing. A larger fight would have cost many Russian soldier and civilian lives.

So there were no cunning plans to surround the Ukrainian forces and no real disaster or success on either side.

Well, that is at least what the Russian military says. It also fits to the known facts.

There may be another reason why the Russian military did not want to fight for Izium. In May 1942, during the Second Battle of Kharkov, a Soviet counterattack on Nazi held Kharkov was defeated by two preplanned Nazi attacks south and north of Izium.


The names on the map will look familiar to those who have followed the current battle over the past days.

The Soviet counterattack ended in a bloody defeat:

On 17 May, the German 3rd Panzer Corps and XXXXIV Army Corps under the command of Fedor von Bock, supported by aircraft, arrived, enabling the Germans to launch Operation Fridericus, pushing back the Soviet Barvenkovo bridgehead to the south. On 18 May, [Marshal Semyon] Timoshenko requested permission to fall back, but Stalin rejected the request. On 19 May, Paulus launched a general offensive to the north as Bock's troops advanced in the south, thus attempting to surround the Soviets in the Izium salient. Realizing the risk of having entire armies surrounded, Stalin authorized the withdraw, but by that time the Soviet forces were already started to be closed in. On 20 May, the nearly surrounded Soviet forces mounted counteroffensives, but none of the attempts were successful in breaking through the German lines. The Soviets achieved some small victories on 21 and 22 May, but by 24 May, they were surrounded near Kharkov.
The Second Battle of Kharkov resulted in an extremely costly loss to the Soviets, which saw 207,000 men killed, wounded, or captured; some estimates put the number as high as 240,000. Over 1,000 Soviet tanks were destroyed during this battle, as well as the loss of 57,000 horses. German losses were much smaller than the Soviets, with over 20,000 killed, wounded, or captured. Soviet General Georgy Zhukov later blamed this major defeat on Stalin, who underestimated German strength in the region and failed to prepare an adequate reserve force to counter the arrival of the German reinforcement that turned the tide.

So it's on towards Donbas.

Posted by b on September 10, 2022 at 15:46 UTC | Permalink

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Explicación coherente y consistente. Y verosímil.

Posted by: Felipe | Sep 10 2022 15:49 utc | 1

Coherente y consistente

Posted by: Felipe | Sep 10 2022 15:50 utc | 2

Thanks for the posting b.

In spite of the vomitorium of textual white noise to the contrary in the past few threads, reality marches on.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 10 2022 15:55 utc | 3

I hope/pray for good news.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 10 2022 15:57 utc | 4

I figured it was some kind of trap, or at least that there was a plan at work. It gets old seeing so many commentors on all these sites freaking out while second guessing the Russian military all the time. They know what they are doing. Stay calm.

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 15:58 utc | 5

And many more Russians could have died if they had stood and fought a numerically superior force of nazi degenerates.

Posted by: CatTanker | Sep 10 2022 15:59 utc | 6

Little official news usually means RuMOD was taken by surprise of the offensive. Which means we'll need a few days for the battle lines to be redrawn again and to see where we're at.

Posted by: Krištof | Sep 10 2022 15:59 utc | 7

I'm not a military person and I don't have access to classified information by either side. The best I can do is go by what I can read publicly from multiple sources and my own very surface knowledge of military history.

Having issued that giant disclaimer, this sounds like face saving to me. Since I disagree with those who defend Russia's conduct as well as with the NATO/US apologists, I'm pretty certain I'll draw fire from both sides. From the very beginning (I have only unrecorded class lectures to verify my claim) I said that I thought Russia would get bogged down in Ukraine. It strikes me that somewhere along the line there has been a dramatic failure of Russian intelligence and analysis and a failure to fully consider the history of Vietnam, Afghanistan (in both the Russian and US experience there) and instead to think that this could be a replay of Hungary in 56. Even the initial effort to capture the airport and surround Kiev reminded me of 56.

The whole premise of conducting a "special military operation" instead of acknowledging it was a war, just not fighting it, or pursuing other options seems to me that it sets up exactly this kind of situation. The strategic goals and objectives seem murky, the strategy chaotic and confusing.

This is the best I can come up with absent really strong evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Chip Poirot | Sep 10 2022 16:00 utc | 8

I am not sure how it all turns out but it must be unsettling to be bombed and shelled for six months and then when you finally strike back you find nothing but long walks to ghost towns.
I did see reports about Russian planes smashing convoy's yesterday, It seems they were true.

Posted by: OhhCanada | Sep 10 2022 16:00 utc | 9

If this is the "plan", it is not clear how this is expected to achieve a positive outcome.

Right now Lysichansk is under direct threat as a result of this "tactical retreat"

And how exactly is it supposed to be reversed? Large numbers of troops will be sent to do exercises even farther away from the front?

Reposting what I wrote in the previous thread shortly before the new one started:

Look, the facts so far are the following:

1. War starts, advances from all sides, except, and very suspiciously in retrospect, none west of the northeastern corner of Zhytomyr oblast (in order to stop Western support, the western border had to be cut off and that was never even attempted).

2. We see rapid advances, bypassing cities or seizing a fair few without fighting, large territorial gains are made. But there are no second and third echelons coming to consolidate control because it turns out the 150,000 troops that were reported to have been amassed at the border are all that there is, so there is nothing else coming. Supply lines get overextended and then pinched off by the Ukrainians, multiple cities that apparently were expected to voluntarily surrender in fact resist, offensive slows down.

3. End of March we see a large-scale "tactical retreat" from everything north of Kharkov. It's forgotten, but that included even not at all insignificant cities such as Konotop (population ~85K, home to a large airbase, etc.) which were taken over without much fighting and then voluntarily abandoned. This is presented as a genius strategic "feint", "refocusing of the effort", an act of "goodwill", etc. When the reality is that all it did was to refocus the Ukrainian defense because they now didn't have to worry about their northern border, but more on that below. The implicit promise is that there will be a return there when the time comes. We then get reprisals and atrocities against pro-Russian civilians such as in Bucha, as a reward for the "goodwill" gesture

4. War stalls even further and transitions into a series of grinding urban warfare battles -- Volnovakha, Mariupol, Izyum, Lyman, Rubezhne, Popasnaya, Severodonetsk, Lysichansk. But still, progress is made, so the narrative that slow and steady will bring victory (eventually) takes hold. But there are no serious reinforcement brought despite the fact that is is clear that the allocated force is barely enough to hold the gains.

5. Meanwhile the West starts pumping weapons, training, and, as it is now clear, manpower too, into Ukraine. Practically nothing is done to stop that.

6. After Lysichansk, which was around July 1st, progress stops completely (and even that wasn't played properly -- Ukrainians were allowed to escape with much of their equipment because there wasn't a sufficient force to seal the cauldron). We move to weeks-long battles, street-by-street over tiny villages west of Donetsk. Six months into it Donetsk is still shelled daily and the line of contact hasn't moved appreciable at all.

7. Western weaponry starts to have an effect and we begin to see more and more daring attacks on not just Russian-held territory, but on Russia itself. The ZNPP, Crimea attacks, regular attacks on Kursk and Belgorod, etc. Zero reaction even though the blowing up of the airfield in Crimea alone should have crossed all imaginable red lines.

8. As predicted, a counteroffensive in launched in Kherson, but is repelled.

9. The one in Kharkov, however, reversed 6 months of gains in mere 4-5 days. Another major "tactical retreat" without much fighting is organized. Reprisals against civilians begin again.

10. There is now apparently a counteroffensive prepared towards the Azov coastline. Is even Mariupol safe at this point?

11. No measures are taken to secure the Russian-controlled territories. The LNR referendum should have been held immediately after Lysichansk was liberated, in order to make that territory irretrievably Russian, backed by the full power of the nuclear arsenal. Kherson, Melitopol and the liberated parts of the DNR should have been similarly secured. Also for the very important reason to make sure that the local population buys into Russian control, because without that commitment they know they might be abandoned at any moment.

As we are seeing now in Balakleya, Kupyansk, and Izyum, and probably soon in Volchansk and Lyman and God knows where else too.

12. Meanwhile there are still no serious reinforcements being brought it. There was the talk about the 3rd Army Corps, videos of them being moved to somewhere, where are they? There was a lot of talk about a massive airforce being gathered in Belgorod and Kursk. Where is it when it's needed? Why is Volchansk, which is a stone's throw away from the Russian border being evacuated? Why is the northern front not reactivated in order to spread Ukrainian defense? What happened instead was the genius move of a frontal assault against the Donbass fortifications, allowing Ukrainians to concentrated defense, with no real effort made to encircle them. The excuse about how entrenched fortifications were was constantly paraded, but it does not pass the smell test -- the Vasylovka-Orekhov-Gulyapole-Velika Novoselka-Vugledar line wasn't fortified, and a proper push to the north would have encircled the whole Donbass. There were no trenches and fortifications beyond the Donbass in Kharkov either so a push could have been made from there too. It is forgotten in fact that this is exactly what all the pro-Russian online experts expected to happen early on. It was never tried.

Given that trajectory, do we seriously believe that what has been lost now will be eventually regained? When has that happened so far? The ceded parts of Chernigov, Sumy and Kiev oblasts certainly haven't been.


Sure, there might be some grad master genius plan here, but it is not apparent from the facts so far.

Again, we all hope things will turn around soon, but the available evidence does not suggest it. If the conflict is frozen now through some backroom deal, that is a gigantic defeat for Russia, as another war will be fought soon but against an even more prepared enemy.

The worst part about this is that we do know that the Russians have the army, the manpower, and the weaponry to fight this seriously, and win it. But it is largely sitting idle, which is very very fishy.

What we get instead is 50,000 soldiers doing meaningless exercises in Vladivostok (or whatever part of the Far East it was in), while there is nobody to man the front line, and Putin with a smile on his face launching fireworks and dedicating ferris wheels in amusement parks, or whatever it was that he has been doing the last two days.

Posted by: Tbx | Sep 10 2022 16:00 utc | 10

if this were a planned withdrawal the civilians would have been evacuated. also Ukrainians will regain control of M03 highway and a railway line connecting Slavyansk/Kramatorsk axis to Kharkov.

Posted by: abel | Sep 10 2022 16:01 utc | 11

If this was a planned regrouping, why they have left most of their equipment behind?

Posted by: Stepan | Sep 10 2022 16:03 utc | 12

And many more Russians could have died if they had stood and fought a numerically superior force of nazi degenerates.

Posted by: CatTanker | Sep 10 2022 15:59 utc | 6

Well, how exactly did it come to the situation in which they were vastly outnumbered? That's the natural order of things?

If it keeps going like this they will be vastly outnumbered all the way to Novosibirsk...

Posted by: Tbx | Sep 10 2022 16:03 utc | 13

"There may be another reason why the Russian military did not want to fight for Izium. In May 1942, during the Second Battle of Kharkov, a Soviet counterattack on Nazi held Kharkov was defeated by two preplanned Nazi attacks south and north of Izium."

Yes, that's entirely feasible, maybe the Russian high command was reminded of this, and thought it better not to get drawn into what could've been a costly counter offensive. Also, I'm pretty sure Nato strategists would've been aware of the 1942 encounter, and its outcome.

Right now, both sides will be scrutinising old and new maps, from battles fought in and around the frontlines to see where any advantages might lie.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 10 2022 16:05 utc | 14

12:17 Uhr

Kiew kündigt "Abrechnung" mit "pro-russischen" Zivilisten im Raum Balakleja an
Archivbild: Flüchtlinge aus dem Gebiet Charkow warten am 9. September 2022 darauf, dass sie die Grenze zu Russland passieren können.Wiktor Antonjuk / Sputnik

Das ukrainische Staatsbüro für Ermittlungen gab am Freitag bekannt, dass es mit einer "Filterung" von Zivilisten in Balakleja, Gebiet Charkow, begonnen habe. Die Stadt sei angeblich von den Truppen der Kiewer Regierung eingenommen worden. Agenten der Behörde würden Balakleja nun nach Personen absuchen, die "eine Bedrohung für die nationale Sicherheit darstellen könnten". Das Büro erklärte in den sozialen Medien:

"Der Zweck der Maßnahmen ist es, subversive Aktivitäten der Russen und ihrer Verbündeten zu verhindern."

Das Staatsbüro fügte hinzu, es werde "Informationen über Personen, die mit den Aggressoren zusammengearbeitet haben, sorgfältig verarbeiten" und "Kollaborateure und Verräter streng zur Rechenschaft ziehen". Die Behörde betonte:

"Die Zeit der Abrechnung ist gekommen."

That is RT....
What it is about?
People of this region, civilists, are now exposed to Ukro nazis!
They will now punish every and each person, who sympatized RF!

I realy don't understand actions of Russian army!
If Ukros gain the moment,they will get sympaties, not only of western supporters, there will be voulontiers, more arms...
And people of other regions, controlled by Russian army, are now asking themselves: ARE WE REALLY SAFE?

Some people, like Richard, will get nervous breakdown, but that is a fact! You don't do that!

Posted by: preseren3 | Sep 10 2022 16:07 utc | 15

"the plan all along"? "on towards Donbas"?

Some plan which leaves equipment (apparently), precious munitions, and most importantly many civilians to the mercies of the Kiev junta. How well will "on towards Donbas" go when Kiev+NATO will be emboldened to no extent? When Ukie troops which thus far had been pinned in place by the Izyum grouping will now be freed to resist such an advance? Will RF+allies even be welcome in Donbass now that it seems the Bear cannot protect those who take its side?

More likely that the command realizes the cavalry is not coming, and thus blows the retreat. There is something amiss with the execution of this SMO--probably, with the whole SMO concept. The talking point is about the demilitarization of Ukraine, and about the junta's and NATO's brainwashing of the populace. But if you want to deal with those, shouldn't you break the junta's hold over the country, and liberate at least those population centers favorable to Russia's point of view?

"Limited operation" and "slower is better". Yeah, right...

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Sep 10 2022 16:08 utc | 16

at some point I'm expecting someone drawing parallel lines with the Mongol invasions. Besides the coincidence of the localities, I don't see much useful analysis coming from that, both the geography, logistical chains, battle tactics as the warring parties on themselves are too fundamentally different.

The machine translation is useful. It's always useful to know what one side wants to be known as reality.

The fact of absence of resistance/fighting is also a relevant data point.

I believed Kopyansk to be the admininistrative center of the Kharkiv region (occupied/liberated, you chose), hence the "(...) The region did not have any public priority in Russian planing. (...)" statement, is for my "doubtful" (rather incorrect).

Just look at the continuous military actions north of Kharkiv/Kharkov (on itself military waste of assets) and the high cost the RF had to pay to conquer/liberate Izyum in the first place ... .

Kharkov and Odessa are always named together, don't forget the underground resources in Kharkov neither.

What's next? Lyman, Sviatohirsk, .... yeah we really fought really hard for those but we do not attach any strategic value to them?

It seems that the Russians we're bluffing all the time. That they had some crucial shortcomings in military assets (mainly Infantry, but manpower in general), that for political reasons (conservation of the internal power structure), they refused to shift to a military economy so that people in St.P and Moskou were not affected in their daily lives.

And today their bluff was called. The frontlines were literally not (adequately) manned. Which also finally explains why they were unable to progress south from Izyum towards Barvinkove and Slovyansk for 2 to 4 months.

Posted by: qqtf | Sep 10 2022 16:11 utc | 17

I appears Putin's limited SMO is failing, perhaps the Russians should have gone all in, hard and fast or not go in at all.

Posted by: Hannibal | Sep 10 2022 16:13 utc | 18

I wonder if the Russian Ministry is being coy.

If the Russians abandon this area there will be reprisals against ethnic Russians who are living there. Also, the re-deployment of troops would be viewed as a tactical defeat for Russia.

So I wonder if the Russians are saying on thing but plan to do another.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Sep 10 2022 16:14 utc | 19

Imagine believing this garbage. Izyum was absolutely key to Russia's Donetsk offensive as a way to pressure Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from 2 directions. And now look at the map: with the reservoir, Ukraine's lines shorten considerably. And look at all the equipment Russia left behind as they fled in panic. This was a historic rout.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Sep 10 2022 16:14 utc | 20


They have to search and secure 30 towns and hundreds of square km's._.That involves splitting up.
Leaving with full supplies is easy, keeping everyone supplied with food fuel and ammunition is a large job that takes a lot of people and resources, it is not the same size group today as yesterday.

Posted by: OhhCanada | Sep 10 2022 16:15 utc | 21

thanks b....

someone is messing with the names at moa again.... @ james | Sep 10 2022 15:58 utc | 5 is not me.... i use all small caps.. they haven't...

this makes sense what you share...

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 16:18 utc | 22

Russia may be just running out the clock until the mud season and winter bring an end to operations.
Ukraine and its allies will freeze this winter and will come begging to Russia for peace soon enough. Let them have a small win (what good is Izyum or Lyman to Russia?) to keep them from being too humiliated...

Posted by: Tom | Sep 10 2022 16:19 utc | 23

"a number of distraction and demonstration activities were carried out with the designation of the real actions of the troops."

That explains the footage of heavy-lift helicopters and columns of armour.

Posted by: DilNir | Sep 10 2022 16:19 utc | 24

To all you trolls, enjoy your fortnight of fame, hope dies last.

Posted by: WTFUD | Sep 10 2022 16:21 utc | 25

It seems that all hell is letting lose on the Russian MoD social media site. Demanding that something be done. This never happened in the old days! Ukraine fighting its way to the border, that's beyond the pale.

This is a clearer map than we normally get. Take the arrows as advisory.

Posted by: JohninMK | Sep 10 2022 16:23 utc | 26

What happened in Bucha?
It was under Russian control.
When they left, Ukro nazis came. They killed each and everyone, who was working with Russian army.
You remind yourselves? They were shot on the streets....
Now we know, RF knows.
They will alow that again?

Posted by: preseren3 | Sep 10 2022 16:27 utc | 27

I don't see how this is a satisfying explanation. If there are still people in Balakleya and Izyum who are sympathetic to Russia (or were), those people are now at the mercy of reprisals from the Ukrainians. Expect another "Bucha".

The only good thing is that the Russian forces will not collapse. But they will also not be trusted anymore.

I mean, that's the optics.

Posted by: Raskolnikov | Sep 10 2022 16:27 utc | 28

I have no idea what is going on anymore, but the Ukrie offensive seems like a complete waste of time, resources and men that will gain them nothing in the long run. Much like Germany they need oil and gas to keep going and unless the west is willing to hand over that they'll run of fuel out soon and be stranded miles away from safety in a war zone.

I suspect this is chess move aimed at breaking the western backers economies by dragging out the war into the coming volcanic winter where the disinterested masses will start to wonder why they and their loves ones are the ones who are freezing to death for the glory of a nation of career criminals and rapists.

Posted by: Amon | Sep 10 2022 16:29 utc | 29

I agree. The decision to withdraw was made before the NATO offensive, or at least at the very beginning. The new frontier will be the Oskil River. The areas east of it will be integrated into the Lugansk People's Republic.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2022 16:29 utc | 30


Yep, it will happen again for sure

Ukraine announces ‘filtration’ for civilians

State police say a “reckoning” is coming for pro-Russian residents of “de-occupied” town

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 10 2022 16:30 utc | 31

Re: Posted by: Chip Poirot | Sep 10 2022 16:00 utc | 8

I tend to agree with your assessment.

Why, for instance, didn't Russia make a priority of capturing the entire Eastern Bank of the Siversky Donets River which provides strategic depth to Luhansk?

They never took the entire Eastern Bank - although they could have.

If they have no intention of taking Kharkov they could have destroyed all the bridges over the Siversky Donets River in the direction of Kharkov and made it clear this was land they had now taken and were not going to give back.

Look at a map - the River through Eastern Kharkov provides a natural boundary upon which to draw a border (if the Russian plan is not to take a large swathe of Ukrainian territory - all evidence so far suggests Russia has NO PLANS to take a large swathe of Ukraine - Just Luhansk, Donetsk, southern Zaporzhye, Kherson and maybe small bits of Mykolaiv.)

There is no evidence given the way Russia is approaching this "Special Military Operation" that they even want to take Odessa!

It would appear their aims are indeed limited.

Posted by: Julian | Sep 10 2022 16:32 utc | 32

"I appears Putin's limited SMO is failing, perhaps the Russians should have gone all in, hard and fast or not go in at all."

Hannibal (18).

Why commit all your forces to one counterattack in a narrow corridor, by doing so you leave other parts of the frontline exposed to counter measures. This is just one push forward by the Ukrainian forces, and it's taken them six months and billions in aid and weapons from the Western world to do so.

I don't see their inroads, if they've made inroads lasting that long or being of any great significance, the further East they push the more stretched their supply lines become and rocket cover also becomes sketchy, whereas, for the RF the further East the Ukrainian forces find themselves the easier it is to lay down heavy weapons fire upon them.

This is one instance in six months of fighting that probably hasn't gone Russia's way, it's a testament to the Russian force's strategy and sheer grit on the battlefield, and of course air superiority that it's taken this long for this to happen.

Let's not forget Russia isn't just fighting Ukraine.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Sep 10 2022 16:33 utc | 33

To this end, within three days, an operation was carried out to curtail and organize the transfer of the Izyum-Balakley group of troops to the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.
. . .leaving the civilians remaining in the area at the mercy of Ukranian fighters. That’s a terrible fate to consider.

Posted by: DocHollywood | Sep 10 2022 16:34 utc | 34

Hmmm...lots of new commentators here doing a splendid job of performing in their concern troll role. I think that these people choose to forget that the Battle of the Bulge did not end in a Nazi victory.

Posted by: Victor Scarpia | Sep 10 2022 16:34 utc | 35

First it’s a disaster for which heads will roll. Then it’s the battle of the bulge, the last stand for the Ukrainians. And now that Russian MOD does damage control and spins it as an orderly retreat, we just take it at face value ? Trust the plan?

To me it’s pretty clear what happened here. The Ukrainians found a weak spot in the 1500km front line and were able to amass troops without the Russians noticing it. Probably because the areas has lots of forests.

But they UF made a huge tactical mistake pushing into a deep salient, which leaves them heavily exposed. This is a huge chance for RF to destroy a lot of UF troops and uquipment. Why don’t they do it, and announce a retreat from Izyum instead?!

Posted by: peter | Sep 10 2022 16:37 utc | 36

People can leave to Russia, they had time and probably they still have time to run. With the genius like Shoigu in charge running to Russia is the best option, but not near the borders and definitely not in Belgorod.

Posted by: rk | Sep 10 2022 16:40 utc | 37

Could this be another Russian cauldron being created? I think time will tell.

Posted by: Bonami | Sep 10 2022 16:41 utc | 38

Re: Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2022 16:29 utc | 32

I agree. The decision to withdraw was made before the NATO offensive, or at least at the very beginning. The new frontier will be the Oskil River. The areas east of it will be integrated into the Lugansk People's Republic.

Why wouldn't the new frontier be the Siversky Donets River which provides real strategic depth to Luhansk? The Oskil River provides no strategic depth to Luhansk at all - I recall the Russians (Lavrov I think) saying because of the weapons supplied to Ukraine that Russia will be forced to increase the territory it takes in Ukraine to provide this depth and protection.

Whatever happened to that assertion?

Posted by: Julian | Sep 10 2022 16:42 utc | 39

This narrative makes perfect sense to me. The Russian strategy all along has been to draw the Ukrainians to them and then hit them hard with artillery and air power. It works slowly but has been obliterating the AFU.

Their air power is gone. Their artillery is greatly diminished. Their armor is basically destroyed. Every time they attack they lose big time. In Kherson they destroyed themselves by attempting a counteroffensive without air or artillery advantages. They don't have that is Kharkov either so how are they succeeding? They can't as they don't have the tools to succeed.

The Russians have drawn them in once again and then proceeded to unleash hell on them. This will end up shortening this war as the AFU has no tools left to fight with. They've been conscripting 40-50 year olds and throwing them into the maelstrom on the front lines. Think they would be using old men if they had any young ones left?

The flower of the Ukrainian youth has been slaughtered by their extremely corrupt leadership. It's a national crime against themselves.

Posted by: Ffreeloader | Sep 10 2022 16:42 utc | 40

Re: Peter | 39

I don't know where you see a salient - the ufa advanced along the entire front.

Posted by: Frenziedfrog | Sep 10 2022 16:43 utc | 41

There are similiarities to the battle of the bulge. the germans penetrated 50 miles into allied controlled territory, exploiting a front where the defences were weak. the offensive ended up being short lived, the germans lost a huge amount of tanks and other vehicles, and the territory taken was reclaimed a while later.

Posted by: Oh | Sep 10 2022 16:43 utc | 42

Apologies if this has been posted earlier: Saker's view

Posted by: Bonami | Sep 10 2022 16:44 utc | 43

"...a number of distraction and demonstration activities were carried out..."

How many people still believe any MoD communication at this point? It sounds to me like a Defense Department in panic mode. Suddenly the Western "psychological" explanations about Russians being bogged down, unable to push any further, losing momentum seem realistic, leaving Ukraine to rebuild, reorganize, train and re-supply their losses. And we have to believe the Russians were the one leaving their own bridgehead for some internal tactical reason? It's unclear how it would help the SMO especially looking at all the media evidence showing mostly surprise, rush and defeat. All realistic Russian commentators that I checked seem to have accepted defeat in this battle (but not the war). But will they accept these MoD face saving statements? In that case at least stop complaining about Western PR nonsense. It's all made-up of faerie dust. Nobody is giving you the numbers, events and strengths in a realistic sense.

That said, I still don't see a reason for Natokraine to win anything major. But they just raised the price for themselves and for Russia to continue.

Posted by: John Dowser | Sep 10 2022 16:44 utc | 44

In some way it makes sense. Russia promised referendums and made other Russification moves for four provinces. But not for Kharkiv.

Yet the explanation of the MoD doesn't make sense. The frontline won't become shorter. It just moves. So claiming that this frees up troops is nonsense.

Posted by: Wim | Sep 10 2022 16:44 utc | 45

It seems to me that the Russians knew an attack was coming, they just didn't know where. Now they know and can regroup. Unfortunately, they left a lot of materiel in Izyum, which can be exploited.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian advance force is now 30km further from their supply lines (total 80km) and they have thousands of hectares between them. This means resupply will be difficult if not impossible.

My prediction?

1. The Russians will regroup and bomb the smithereens out of the Ukrainian forces (~10,000 men at least, 30,000 at most).

2. They will harden the rest of their front lines. At this point, the southern (Mariupol to Kherson corridor) is just as important than the Donetsk. Not only militarily but politically. They have to reassure the Russo-Ukrainians that they aren't going to leave.

3. The Russians will fortify Kherson region and use it as a focal point for an attack on Nikolayev. This will choke off Odessa for the foreseeable future. Not only will this give the Russians time it will allow Odessa to fall on its own, thereby obviating the need for the expenditure of Russian blood and treasure. When Nikolayev is secured, the Ukraine will be a land-locked nation, with no further need of a navy. And the Russian land-bridge will stretch from the Donbass to Transnistria, thereby solidifying the safety of the Crimea.

(Anyway, that's what I'd do.)

What then? I imagine the Russians will turn a blind eye to the Poles should they take Galicia. They can also make deals with the Romanians re Moldova. While it is true that the main Russian objectives was demilitarize and neutralize the Ukraine, a secondary objective was to ensure that the former Warsaw Pact nations (esp. Poland and Romania) don't allow the stationing of NATO troops within their borders.

Posted by: George Michalopulos | Sep 10 2022 16:46 utc | 46

People can see that I'm not a regular poster here and call me a NATO troll or whatever and ignore me, fine.

But it would be useful if someone would try to engage with me honestly here.

I think a couple things should be abundantly clear at this point:

1. For the Russian side, all the claims that "Putin is running out of ammo/food/tanks/whatever" are complete bullshit. Russia has never demonstrated any lack of logistical capacity in this war, except maybe in the first week or so when tanks were genuinely running out of fuel and being abandoned. But that seems to have been intentional because the focus at that point was on going fast and seizing objectives. If some tanks ran out of gas along the way, just jump off and pick up the tank again later.

but also

2. For the Ukrainians, I no longer believe *any* of the claims that Russia has smashed their logistics or transport infrastructure. This wasn't a minor push. They assembled tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of vehicles, and clearly lots of fuel to move this far. These troops didn't creep through the forest carrying jerry cans on their backs. These troops were assembled and moved along rail and in big truck convoys. Russia didn't stop any of this. Where did they even get the fuel from? We've been told for months that the Ukrainian army was essentially immobilized from lack of fuel, lack of trucks, and lack of trains. Bullshit, clearly. I've been assured, ad nauseam, that the first month or so of the war was a brilliant exercise in Soviet deep operations, designed to confuse and paralyze the Ukrainians while their logistics and transport was taken apart and rendered nonfunctional. Well, it seems to be pretty fucking functional now.

This is either happening because Russia allowed it, in which case that was a monumentally stupid decision because Russia has lost too much too fast for me to be convinced that this was a well-planned out trap. Or they didn't know, in which case Putin's intelligence apparatus is nigh worthless, or they did know and didn't, or couldn't, apply sufficient pressure to stop it. None of these options looks good.

The argument that Russia is intentionally applying a light touch in order to minimize its own casualties doesn't hold water here. Russia can largely conduct air strikes with a high degree of safety, and can conduct missile strikes with basically complete impunity. Occasionally a cruise missile gets intercepted, in which case they can just fire a few more and one will get through, or they can use a hypersonic missile. There's no excuse for trains and big convoys continuing to operate in Ukraine, other than that Russia somehow can't find them.

It may ultimately be that this giant Ukrainian move gets whittled away at and Ukraine loses a huge number of irreplaceable forces. That's very likely already happening right now, as I type this. But I'm not remotely convinced this was planned on Russia's part. This looks like a colossal fuck up, that Russia may ultimately turn to its advantage.

Posted by: Soredemos | Sep 10 2022 16:47 utc | 47

10.09.2022 (15:10)
Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine

Russian Federation Armed Forces continue the special military operation.

High-precision armament of Russian Aerospace Forces has neutralised the headquarters of 5th National Guard Brigade, the provisional bases of the units from 92nd Mechanised Brigade and Kraken nationalist group deployed near Balakleya and Chuguyev (Kharkov region), as well as the command post of 54th Mechanised Brigade deployed near Ray-Aleksandrovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

The attack has resulted in the elimination of up to 300 Ukrainian servicemen and up to 15 units of military equipment.

Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery continue launching attacks at the military facilities in Ukraine.

7 AFU command posts have been neutralised near Rozovka, Ocheretino, Vodyanoye, Novomikhaylovka and Ugledar (Donetsk People's Republic), Snigiryovka and Novonikolayevka (Nikolayev region), as well as 48 artillery units, 178 AFU manpower and military equipment concentration areas.

6 missile, artillery armament and munitions depots have been destroyed near Kurakhovo, Konstantinovka and Seversk (Donetsk People's Republic), Dnepr and Radushnoye (Dnepropetrovsk region), Gulyay Pole (Zaporozhye region).

1 radar for detecting and tracking air targets has been destroyed near Kaluga (Nikolayev region).

Within the counter-battery warfare, 2 plattoons of rocket artillery and 5 plattoons of cannon artillery of the AFU have been neutralised near Georgiyevka, Krasnogorovka, Antonovka, Romanovka, Ocheretino, Novgorodskoye and Novosyolovka Pervaya (Donetsk People's Republic).

1 U.S.-manufactured 155-mm M-777 howitzer has been destroyed near Novosyolovka Pervaya (Donetsk People's Republic).

Air defence means have shot down 13 unmanned aerial vehicles near Chkalovo and Belyayevka (Kherson region), Krasnoye (Kharkov region), Smeloye, Staromlynovka and Novoukrainskoye (Zaporozhye region), as well as near Novoandreyevka, Valeryanovka, Kirillovka and Panteleymonovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

5 projectiles launched by HIMARS MRLS have been destroyed in air near Novaya Kakhovka (Kherson region).

In total, 293 airplanes and 152 helicopters, 1,916 unmanned aerial vehicles, 374 air defence missile systems, 4,870 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 830 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 3,375 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 5,432 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

Posted by: Summary | Sep 10 2022 16:47 utc | 48

I would need to see a Russian counter-attack to be convinced that they were prepared for this. The Ukrainians exposed themselves. If the Russians were able to launch a counter-attack, they could potentially capture many Ukrainians.

Speaking of WW2, you frequently had battles where the number of killed / wounded was comparatively low and it was the number of troops you capture that turned an event into a major vitory. Captured troops are unrecoverable losses.

I do not suggest that I am smarter than the officers in the field. I am just trying to read the tea leaves to separate fact from fiction.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 10 2022 16:48 utc | 49

It sounds strange that with all the HUMINT, OSINT, satellites, drones, EW capabilities of the RF all around the LOC this massive attack could be any kind of "surprise" at all for the Russian side; from probably weeks the generals in the area should have enough info about what is going on in this part of the front and could have planned accordingly, so this weak Russian opposing force, its long and quick retreat, if it is not voluntary must be one of the worst mistakes of a Russian army after Groznii, or may be is really a trap, but a very very strange I doubt it is a trap.

Anyway one of the more surprising things of the SMO seems to me the weakness of the Russian CAS (Close Air Support) in all the fronts, it is surprising to see moving dozens if not hundreds of Ukrainian tanks, APAC's, IFV, Humvees, trucks, armored columns unopposed in the open steppe at daylight without too much disturbance from the planes and choppers of the RF, it seems that all the tactical fight of RF army is based on artillery, rocktes and some tanks and ATGM, and missile attacks to static positions, with few really strong attacks from the CAS or strategic aviation, as one should expect from a strong modern army with clear air superiority after 6 months of SEAD campaign.
They even do not use armed drone swarms to attack the armor columns as Azerbaijan did recently against Armenia...

If you don't have a huge air force capability to crush the armored columns (à la Dessert Storm), you need a huge mass of manpower and armor (as in Soviet times) to defeat a numerical superior, resupplied and resolute adversary, as is the case of Ukraine.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 10 2022 16:49 utc | 50

To make a long story short, a counter-attack that captures a lot of prisoners is more impressive than a tactical withdrawal.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 10 2022 16:50 utc | 51

I should have said "thousands of open hectares". in other words, flat, open steppes. With the Russians having the only air force, Ukrainian resupply lines will be sitting ducks.

Posted by: George Michalopulos | Sep 10 2022 16:51 utc | 52

Russians being logical.

how very strange (humor)

Posted by: sdibaja | Sep 10 2022 16:51 utc | 53

I'm sure that the Izium population of 45,884 (as of 2021) - those who manage to survive anyway - will long remember their disgraceful abandonment to the UkroNazis by the Russians.

Posted by: Trisha | Sep 10 2022 16:51 utc | 54

news report --
Ukrainian separatists from the Russian-backed Luhansk province have refused to take up arms in defiance of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin. The soldiers previously ruled out fighting outside the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), including in the neighbouring Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Because of dwindling resources and poor living conditions, the soldiers are now rebelling

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 16:56 utc | 55

@ t | Sep 10 2022 16:43 utc | 46

like philip cross on wikipedia ya mean?? lol..

@ Soredemos | Sep 10 2022 16:47 utc | 51

to be blunt, it sounds like you listen to the msm too much... cheers..

@ Summary | Sep 10 2022 16:47 utc | 52


Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 16:57 utc | 56

a trusted news source @ 60 no doubt, lolol...

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 16:58 utc | 57

Oh we didn't get chased out we left on our own accord..!!! B is probably losing perspective I keep hearing about how any Ukrainian counter offensive is bound to fail yet it seems they r having success. What about the assertions that any Ukrainian formations will be cut down in the open fields.
Why is Ukrainian airforce still flying? Unless they r using nato airfields outside of Ukraine then it is gross incompetence by rf military leadership.

Posted by: A.z | Sep 10 2022 17:01 utc | 58

How can this be happening?
The Ukrainian army was defeated almost 6 months ago, according to Larry Johnson in this 21 March 2022 article by Mike Whitney titled The Ukrainian Army Has Been Defeated. What's Left Is Mop-Up:

If one side was defeated long ago, why are soldiers still getting killed? To earn eternal praise? Or just for fun?
Or is it to continue making rich weapons corporations and investors richer?
Or something else? What's really going on?

Posted by: Mark Mosby | Sep 10 2022 17:01 utc | 59

So, the Russians appear to be successfully conducting an organised retreat, under cover of a barrage of deadly artillery and air strikes, to preserve as much of their forces as possible. And where possible, they are also evacuating civilians from the towns too.

The forces retreating from the Kharkiv sector will strengthen the the forces in the Donbas at a time when the Ukrainians have transferred troops away from this sector to the Kharkiv offensive. This has enabled the Russians to take Soledar and parts of Bahmut. Thus, it looks like the Russians are refusing to be distracted From the vital Donbas objective.

Posted by: ftmntf | Sep 10 2022 17:02 utc | 60

Bullshit! I stand with Russia here but the mod statement is utter crap.

Posted by: Zoran Alrksic | Sep 10 2022 17:04 utc | 61

What we gonna get next from USS H/Q Command Centre, a photo courtesy of CNN with Ze, Biden, Blinky, Nuland, Obama and Hillary pointing fingers at a map?

No Joe, that's Finland, an ally!

Posted by: WTFUD | Sep 10 2022 17:04 utc | 62

Haha sounds like an arab army MOD statement... Pathetic pack of lies. But do not blame the military for this creative but doomed SMO, russian mil worked within political parameters defined by the Kremlin. Political economy, class war, cultural war and the "internal front" comrades, it all starts here. And the disaster of the destructive capitalist savagery of the 90 an 2000 continues in many aspects of russian society. Thanks God russia has an tremendous social, cultural, educational advantage compared to degenerate western capitalist states. But vast segments of russian political and economic class want a capitalist, globalist "integration" and fear their people being culturally and socially mobilized in a war economy. Many in the Kremlin, in regional admin, in corporate boards would prefer a westernized, fragmented populace and a subservient russian diplomacy and economy. Anyway their kids are studying in London, Berlin, Toronto or the US. Both communists, russian nationalists have warned about major internal contradictions and existential threats, growing both inside and at the borders. I was amazed by the level of sophistication, education of many russians, from Moscow to the Urals, Tatarstan, Siberia etc. I was surprised by the contrast between the fever of consumerism in Russia (perfectly normal in any developing economy) and many russian millenials (and elders) wanting serious communism policies, state intervention in many fields (civilisn snd military) But on could hear also many very lucid complaints against local and central admin, the brutal neoliberal capitalism still in control in the country but unlike western prop' prople were very pro-Putin. (And yes, Putin, for all his great achievements, is viscerally anti-socialist and "europeist", like most of the Rus ruling and managerial class). The army does what it can, and the russian army has achieved some successful modernization-professiondl transition and still benefits from great leftovers from the soviet times (specially in the R&D and fundamental education). But internal enemies are working hard to dismantle slowly and surely as much as possible.
The Kremlin is not, will not transition, evrn partially, to a necessary war economy AND its correlated internal clean-up (or soft class war). It is not the russian people that are not ready, those are the capitalist and globalist forces in the state structure.

Meanwhile some dual use industrial sector in the west are discreetly recruiting 24/7 for mil prod.

The empire of chaos is incredibly weak, its ruling classes inept and insane, its populace brainwashed beyong repair. But in the east and south, vast segments of the ruling classes are self-defeating, again and again...

Posted by: Kareem | Sep 10 2022 17:06 utc | 63

Armchair generals cringing at the first Russian setback. This is war, shit happens.

Russia is facing off against the combined west and Europe's largest army with a small force. After 6 months of having having their asses handed to them by the RF, the west finally turned the RF strategy of using a small force against them with a massive attack solely intended to secure additional funding and arms. In proper perspective this action is on a few tens of clicks of a 1,200 kilometer front and VSU losses are astronomical. At the beginning of July the VSU reported 79,000 kia and recent estimates (prior to the current offensive) put that number above 200,000 with 300,000 wounded. For all practical purposes they lost this war months ago.

This is not Ukraine's strategy, it is US MIC strategy, designed to insure continued demand and funding for their “products”. The window is closing as Ukraine runs out of troops and the EU starts to collapse under self-imposed economic distress and increasing civil unrest.

Notice how after the previous US moneypit war (Afghanistan) ended with withdrawl the next one (Ukraine - really Russia) started ... and how the stage is being set for the next one in Taiwan.

If Russia gets pissed off they will take off the kid gloves, which appears to be the West's intent. Be careful of what you wish for.

Posted by: Black Cloud | Sep 10 2022 17:07 utc | 64

Russia promised referendums
@Wim | Sep 10 2022 16:44 utc | 49

They wanted to be on tomorrow, on 11, but they forgot about it since then. At this moment I highly doubt it'll take place this year. Most likely they're retreating to defend what they have, waiting for winter to hit natoids in EU. China seems to be waiting too, not that they have other options, and US seems to be pushing towards a nato attack on Iran.

Posted by: rk | Sep 10 2022 17:07 utc | 65

If you haven't read it already, check out this post at the Saker website to get an idea of how the Russians deal with offensive, given the much smaller forces at their disposal.

Posted by: ftmntf | Sep 10 2022 17:08 utc | 66

@ james | Sep 10 2022 16:58 utc | 62
You seem to have a problem with facts.
Do you think that the video of a confrontation in the street linked to in my 60 was staged in Hollywood?. . . Or what. Tell us.
Don't just be a troll, which obviously everybody hates.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 17:12 utc | 67

Boring one iner below:

Wishful thinkers labelling other povs "concern trolls". OMG!

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Sep 10 2022 17:12 utc | 68

preparing for winter

Posted by: Timur Garajew | Sep 10 2022 17:17 utc | 69

Following Attack by Stratagem

Sun Tzu said:

To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array - this is the art of studying circumstances. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill. Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight; do not attack soldiers whose temper is keen. Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard. Such is the art of warfare.

And, No. China does not need to do anything but what it is doing. Do any of y'all know what that is?

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 10 2022 17:17 utc | 70

Sounds like disinformation designed to embolden the Ukrainians into overextending themselves. It is perfectly clear that Russia is always prepared to play the long game, and is totally unconcerned about tomorrow's headlines.

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Sep 10 2022 17:21 utc | 71

Whew. Comments are flooded by NATObots. You guys in Langley or wherever need to at least mix up some talking points to make it look a little more organic.

Posted by: Phodges | Sep 10 2022 17:27 utc | 72

Denial ain’t only a river in Egypt. It is beyond foolish and naive to take Russian MoD claims at face value. Are you interested in truth or pretending that the Russian military is invincible and never loses or faces setbacks?

Even b back peddled from “it’s a disaster” to “it’s no big deal”. Are you sure? At what point do you accept that the reality you would like to see might not the match the reality on the ground?

Posted by: Nostradamus | Sep 10 2022 17:27 utc | 73

The list of forces involved in the Izyum-Balakley direction is not fully specified and is much broader.

Judging by the obituaries of the liquidated nature reserves and the videos posted by the Ukronazists over the past 5 days, the minimum composition of the enemy forces involved in the Izyumsko-Balakleya direction looks like this:

▪️ 92nd Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Kharkiv region)
▪️ 112th Territorial Defense Brigade (Kiev)
▪️ 14th Mechanized Brigade (Volyn region)
95th Separate Amphibious Assault Brigade (Zhytomyr region)
▪️ special units of the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade (Dnipropetrovsk region)
▪️ units of the 1st separate Special purpose Brigade
▪️ nationalists of the armed formation Kraken (Kharkiv region)
▪️ special forces of the National Guard and the national police of Kharkiv

Based on the amount of brigades (3-4k per brigade) you can estimate that initially 30k troops involved in the SE Kharkov region. However, as they say the list is incomprehensive and there has been talks of actually 50k involved.

Posted by: unimperator | Sep 10 2022 17:27 utc | 74

@ Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 17:12 utc | 75

i didn't bother to watch it...

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 17:28 utc | 75

all sorts of pop up shit interfered with looking at anything on that page! but according to you it's a reliable source.. great..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 17:29 utc | 76

Great information and great analysis from b., as always.
On the linguistic front, I have noticed: "In May 1942, during the Second Battle of Kharkov, a Soviet counterattack on Nazi held Kharkov was defeated by two preplanned Nazi attacks south and north of Izium.".
I would say "German" twice, not "Nazi". Not the same word, not the same meaning. I know, there's nothing new or original in this remark, but words do matter.
77 years after WWII, Germany remains under US occupation and domination. Today, it is even being required by Uncle Sam to commmit economic suicidie. Time for freeing it, and the rest of Western and Central Europe, also from American narratives, including their use of the word "Nazi".

Posted by: Christophe DOUTE | Sep 10 2022 17:31 utc | 77

James dumped on my 60 which provided a reason for Russia's retreat, the fact that Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) refuses to fight in the neighboring Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
I've asked James to explain why he was a simple troll on the subject, but his only reply in his 83 is that he's not interested in facts.
So we have another "troll." . . .James, take a bow.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 17:32 utc | 78


For months now, the FT has been the voice of Number 10, Downing Street....
"months" bwahahahahahhaa MONTHS!
and that's not the only reason I stopped reading

Posted by: sln2002 | Sep 10 2022 17:33 utc | 79

Since there are a few comments that keep assuming that the Russians were surprised by the Kharkov offensive, I would like to point out that pro-Russian Telegram channels have been reporting the accumulation of UAF forces and equipment for a counterattack on Balakleya for at least a couple of weeks before the attack was actually launched.

If some blogger got those informations, I can't believe the Russian Command wasn't aware of the situation. Now, the Command might have underestimated the likelihood of an attack, but I can't believe that they didn't know at all.

Gerasimov might have said a half-truth.

The lie might be about the three days of distractions and demonstration: they retreated under preassure. It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that they were forced to leave before they were ready to go, to the point that they had to reinforce the defense just in order to conduct delaying actions to prevent the withdraw from turning into a rout.

The truth might be that the Russian Command or political leadership had actually already made the decision of abandoning the Kharkov Oblast, but they were attacked before their plan could be neatly implemented.

This would explain why they chose to not reinforce a front that was lightly defended by low quality independentist formations with just a few units of Rovsgardiia sprinkled in some of the bigger settlements.

Posted by: Leonardo | Sep 10 2022 17:34 utc | 80

hey don.... you've lost your shit... i don't feel like responding to you anymore... happy trails.. share all the uk msm links with whatever you want.. i will ignore you here forward.... see if you can do the same, lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2022 17:34 utc | 81

I can only echo what the Duran guys have said about the fiasco this is for the Russians politically. They were caught with their pants down while having their eyes fixed on the Far East (Economic Forum and the Vostok exercises). As happened at Maidan, the West strikes when the Russians are focusing on something else, as they were on the Sochi Olympics back then. And many agree this is now clearly a war between Nato and Russia, which Putin himself has trouble understanding. Which is why he has committed insufficient resources to the whole effort.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Sep 10 2022 17:37 utc | 82

War in Ukraine, Subtitled
#YURI Here we give you quite bitter and sarcastic comment of Yury Podolyaka:

It turns out that it was not a defeat at Kharkov, but a "cunning plan”?

“The official statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the situation in the Kharkiv direction: “In order to achieve the objectives of the SMO, it was decided to regroup troops in the areas of Balakleya and Izyum to increase efforts in the Donetsk direction. Within three days, an operation was carried out to redeploy the Izyum-Balakleya group of troops to the territory of the DPR.

A number of distracting and demonstration events were held with the designation of the actual actions of the troops. In order to prevent damage to the troops of the Russian Federation, powerful air, artillery and missile strikes were inflicted on the enemy.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation destroyed more than two thousand Ukrainian and foreign fighters, as well as over 100 armored vehicles and artillery pieces in three days.

#YURI comment. Smart people told me yesterday, Yur, that you are spreading panic, this is not a defeat, this is all a very cunning plan. And I didn't believe, and in vain.

That is, if I understand what has been said correctly, and I can't HELP BUT BELIEVE the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, right? It turns out that everything that happened from September 7 to September 10 was just a very cunning plan to withdraw the Russian army from Balakleya, Izyum and Kupyansk. It is a pity that hundreds of thousands of people who trusted us were not informed about this plan, and the Kharkov Administration, apparently was also not privy to the details of this plan, and therefore it had to escape last night from Kupyansk, as they say “with only pants they wore”, and the Russian army, as I understand it, in full accordance with the plan, left a large amount of fuel and munitions, which is now taken over (as I should understand) in accordance with the same plan, the APU uses for its intended purpose against us”.

Did I miss anything? Did I understand everything correctly in Konashenkov's message?

But in 1942, the Sovinformburo was more honest (from June 25, 1942): "June 25, in the Kharkov direction, our troops fought the advancing enemy troops. After hard fighting, our units left Kupyansk."

PS By the way, if I were the MoD of the Russia, I would have already started preparing a speech for Gen. Konashenkov about the plan of the abandonment of the north-eastern parts of the Kharkov region (it will have to be done soon).

PP.S. And the residents of Kherson asked me very much that when the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation begins to put into effect a plan for the planned withdrawal of its troops from Kherson to Donbass (naturally "to achieve its goals"), let the Ministry of Defense take the trouble of warning them about it, well, at least a couple of days in advance. That's all I can say about the official statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation regarding the situation in the Kharkov direction.
Sep 10 at 12:55

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Sep 10 2022 17:40 utc | 83

no need to spin it around. it's -we have not even started yet, special losing operation and betrayal of local population and allies by Russian leadership. they might as well redeploy to Moscow and organize and win more war games in Siberia. Zelensky will pardon Russians and let them redeploy back. enjoy your winter and vodka and keep your weapons with you as no one will ever buy ever again from you or ever say, don't mess with Russians.

Posted by: VIKRAM | Sep 10 2022 17:43 utc | 84

A few months ago I recall many here at MOA chastising Scott Ritter when he stated that the huge influx of NATO weapons into Ukraine was a "game changer".

Maybe, those of you, who participated in that attack on Scott Ritter, should meekly offer some apologies. Certainly, not all of those criticisms were not from trolls: come clean and say sorry, you will feel better if you do.

Posted by: toivos | Sep 10 2022 17:45 utc | 85

@ james | Sep 10 2022 17:34 utc | 90
Don't worry, I won't ignore you, especially when you publish a mindless retort to any posting of mine.
Hey, I might even extend it to other ignorant dribs and drabs from the james troll. You won't read them but others will.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 17:45 utc | 86

Psychological operations on the weak western mindset...
james, you're pretty easy going but it seems, immune to western psyops. cheers.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 10 2022 17:46 utc | 87

The statement is really not convincing. Sad to say this. I was expecting them to say that they withdrew from Izium tactically, and to regroup in preparation for a Russian counteroffensive that would drive the Ukranians away and push forward even deeper into Ukraine. To say that they withdrawal was to augment the troops in Donbas is just not convincing at all.

Posted by: Imad Boles | Sep 10 2022 17:46 utc | 88

I do not agree. Vacating the secured northern flank of Donbass region makes it harder to liberate the region. It makes impossible the encirclement of the Slaviansk/Kramatorsk agglomeration and it further opens up and threatens the northern parts of Donbass, opening them to attacks.

I agree with your previous comment instead. Heads will have to roll for that.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 10 2022 17:49 utc | 89

There are different views on a recent capture of a Russian officer, regarding his rank. It requires study of a face-mole. . .here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10 2022 17:50 utc | 90

if this were a planned withdrawal the civilians would have been evacuated. also Ukrainians will regain control of M03 highway and a railway line connecting Slavyansk/Kramatorsk axis to Kharkov.

Posted by: abel | Sep 10 2022 16:01 utc | 12

Apparently they were evacuated 72 ahead of the withdrawal. You and most commenters don't read any comments at all, just trolling.

Posted by: RB | Sep 10 2022 17:52 utc | 91

If I got the analogy right, it goes like this:

1942 & 2022: Kharkov a major battle front

1942 & 2022: Russia the first-mover, seeks to re-take the city, push the enemy farther west

1942: Germany ready to strike back, reinforces the area

2022: Ukraine ready to strike back, reinforces the area

1942: Russia underestimates German strength

2022: Russia has prudent regard for Ukrainian/NATO strength

1942: Russian offensive quickly fails; Gen Timoshenko asks to fall back; denied by Stalin

2022: Russian efforts have not failed; troop pull-back authorized, pre-planned

1942: Russian troops surrounded, surrender, suffer heavy losses

2022: Russian troops redeploy, remain intact, losses minimal

1942: Germany wins

2022: Winner TBA

Posted by: Jimmy Scungilli | Sep 10 2022 17:53 utc | 92

Passer by | Sep 10 2022 17:49 utc | 100

Still quite a buffer on Luhansk region which Russia has recognized as a sovereign state.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 10 2022 17:54 utc | 93

I would need to see a Russian counter-attack to be convinced that they were prepared for this. The Ukrainians exposed themselves. If the Russians were able to launch a counter-attack, they could potentially capture many Ukrainians.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 10 2022 16:48 utc | 53

An equally plausible explanation is that NATO/Kyiv had insider or satellite Intel that Russia was preparing to withdraw/rotate troops to relocate them to Donbas and then decided to score a much needed propaganda victory after the disaster at Kherson.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Sep 10 2022 17:54 utc | 94

When a regime drafts women, it's usually a sign of desperation, I think:

The Ukrainian military, like many former Soviet Republics, has traditionally obligated men to register with the military should a national draft be called. Earlier this week it was announced that young women would also need to register with the Ministry of Defense as of this Fall. However, on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov signed a decree moving the registration of women back one year to October 1, 2023.

Posted by: Karl | Sep 10 2022 17:54 utc | 95

The MSS, and not the CIA, pays me to say I remember seeing Telegram posts about the Ukies building up forces near Kharkov. So like @Leonardo said, I doubt the Russians were completely unaware this was coming. I don’t think there’s a counterattack or any 5-D chess moves though. I think they just weren’t serious about holding it given towns near the border are being abandoned.

I suspect given how few troops Russia continues to use and its inability or unwillingness to mobilize they’re hoping to sit in the Donbas until the winter and get a ceasefire.

Posted by: linbiao | Sep 10 2022 18:00 utc | 96

Russian command needs to understand that they are at war against the most powerful empire that has ever existed in history. All of the videos coming out are literally Americans riding around in American vehicles, using American equipment. It's not just intelligence and a few internet mercenaries here and there. Russia is fighting the US military itself.

Russia can't continue going on as if it's a minor operation. Russia needs to treat it as what it is, total war, or they will be crushed. And unlike the 90s, this time around the West will make sure Russia has no way of ever recovering.

Posted by: FVK | Sep 10 2022 18:01 utc | 97

@james, I posted the same clip as Don a couple days ago, sans pop-ups. LNR guys complaining about 7 months without combat rotation and their officers looting their supplies, and refusing to fight. Just so you know it's the real deal :)

Posted by: Yenwoda | Sep 10 2022 18:02 utc | 98


no, time is not on russia side. au contraire. this is nothing else but big fiasco. look, there are many half hearted russia allies who were sitting on the fence. russia is loosing respect everywhere with such pussyfooting behavior. they are going to rush to america after this display of weakness, incompetence and cowardice and beg for forgiveness, mark my words. UKROS ARE LITTERALLY WALKS AROUND FREELY and took places on foot armed with light weapons. they don't have no artillery support, no air support, no wings support, but it looks like walk in the park for them anyway? it is beyond humiliating for russia.

Posted by: denazi | Sep 10 2022 18:03 utc | 99

Women love killing Donbass people as much as men. If you remember months ago, one of the worst killers of civilians was a woman.
All these suicide attacks are costly, new retards must fill the dead space. In a single area 2k died, in the past week it must be 5k-7k minimum. And that with a poor level of retaliation from the always confused Russian side.
I expect that EU will send back all refugees to fight for nato in Ukr. There are millions having a party using free money all over EU, they will be sent back.

Posted by: rk | Sep 10 2022 18:04 utc | 100

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