The Other McCain

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BREAKTHROUGH: Ukrainian Forces Smash Russian Lines East of Kherson

Posted on | October 3, 2022 | Comments Off on BREAKTHROUGH: Ukrainian Forces Smash Russian Lines East of Kherson

(Click to see full-size map.)

Wow — the Ukrainians are teaching the Russians a lesson in tactics, and every military leader in the world must be studying this lesson:

Ukrainian forces achieved their biggest breakthrough in the south of the country since the war began, bursting through the front and advancing rapidly along the Dnipro River on Monday, threatening supply lines for thousands of Russian troops.
Kyiv gave no official confirmation of the gains, but Russian sources acknowledged that a Ukrainian tank offensive had advanced dozens of kilometers along the river’s west bank, recapturing a number of villages along the way.
The breakthrough mirrors recent Ukrainian successes in the east that have turned the tide in the war against Russia, even as Moscow has tried to raise the stakes by annexing territory, ordering mobilisation and threatening nuclear retaliation.
“The information is tense, let’s put it that way, because, yes there were indeed breakthroughs,” Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed leader in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson province told Russian state television.
“There’s a settlement called Dudchany, right along the Dnipro River, and right there, in that region, there was a breakthrough. There are settlements that are occupied by Ukrainian forces,” he said.
Dudchany is around 30 km (20 miles) south of where the front stood before the breakthrough, indicating the fastest advance of the war so far in the south, where Russian forces had been dug into heavily reinforced positions along a mainly static front line since the early weeks of the invasion.
While Kyiv maintained almost complete silence, as it has in the past during major offensives, some officials did describe what they referred to as unconfirmed reports of big gains.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, posted a photo of Ukrainian soldiers posing with their flag draping a golden statue of an angel. He said it was the village of Mikhailivka, around 20 km beyond the previous front.
By Monday afternoon, Ukraine’s defence ministry had confirmed only the recapture of Myrolyubivka, a village close to the previous front line. Serhiy Khlan, a Kherson regional council member, also listed Osokorivka, Mykhailivka, Khreschenikvka and Zoloto Balka as villages recaptured or where Ukrainian troops had been photographed.
“It means that our armed forces are moving powerfully along the banks of the Dnipro nearer to Beryslav,” he said. “Officially, there is no such information yet, but the (Russian) social media pages which are panicking… absolutely confirm these photos.”

The Russians have committed a basic strategic error, fighting what is in essence a two-front war, with Ukraine holding interior lines of communication between the northern and southern fronts. So the Ukrainians can strike in either direction and, if Russia tries to move troops from the Kherson front to bolster its position in the north, this creates opportunities for Ukraine to strike the weakened lines in the south. And vice-versa, obviously. If the Ukrainians have reached the Dnipro at Dudchany, this threatens all the Russian forces on the eastern side of the Kherson front. Well, what can the Russians do? Move troops there from the western side of the front, which would weaken that end of the line and make it vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks?

While the Russians are moving forces around the Kherson front to try to contain the Ukrainian breakthrough there, of course, this prevents Russia from taking more forces from the south to try to patch up their lines up north around Kupiansk and Lyman. Were I asked to wager on what comes next, I’d bet that within a week or so, Russia will pull back to the south bank of the Dnipro, and focus on defending Crimea.



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