The Other McCain

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Ukraine Forces Cross Oskil River, Advancing Toward Svatove, Kreminna

Posted on | September 20, 2022 | Comments Off on Ukraine Forces Cross Oskil River, Advancing Toward Svatove, Kreminna

Getting accurate and timely information about the war in Ukraine remains difficult, and it may be a few days before the tactical picture becomes clear, but (a) Ukraine now claims to control the east bank of the Oskril River across from Kupiansk, and (b) it has been confirmed that Ukrainian forces have taken Yarova, about 10 miles west of Lyman. While the Russians are reportedly trying to organize a defense at Svatove, their southern flank is jeopardized by the Ukrainian forces at Yarova and Lyman. It’s not clear if the Ukrainians are also across the Oskril River north of Kupiansk, although the Russians claim to have destroyed a pontoon crossing at Dvorichne, about 15 miles north of Kupiansk.

This is very encouraging so far. A week ago (“Ukraine Offensive Halts at Oskil River?”), I was worried that the Ukrainian advance had lost momentum, which risked losing the opportunity to wreck the Russians while they were still shaken by the rapid assault on Kupiansk. Now it appears that the halt at the Oskil was just temporary, and that the Ukrainian advance will continue. If they break through anywhere south of Svatove, this would immediately render the position of Russian forces near Lyman untenable, compelling a retreat further eastward, toward Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Such a retreat would cost the Russians still more men and equipment, on top of what they already lost when the Ukrainians captured Kupiansk and Izyum, with attendant impact on Russian morale. However, the tactical situation remains unclear.

Over the next week, we may hear news of another Ukrainian breakthrough, or the pace of action may slow down. What’s important, though, is that Ukraine has established the necessary bridgehead on the east bank of the Oskril River, which will allow them to keep advancing eastward, however fast or slow that progress may be.



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