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Putin’s Got a Problem: He Might Lose the War for Donbas

Russian T-90 Tank
Image: Creative Commons.

The latest intelligence update from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence argues that the Russian military is struggling to make progress in the Donbas region of Ukraine, even as troops intensify shelling in the area.

“Russian shelling and strikes on the Donbas line of control continue to increase, with the Ukrainians repelling numerous attempted advances by Russian forces,” the April 19 update reads.

The British government department added that Russia efforts to move through the region “continues to be impacted by the environmental, logistical and technical challenges” that have affected their armed forces throughout the offensive. British defense officials added that the Russians are also struggling to hold back the “highly-motivated Ukrainian armed forces.”

The British agency also said that Russia’s inability to completely take control over the southern port city of Mariupol, which has been “wiped off the face of the Earth” in recent weeks, indicates that Russia is failing to achieve its goals as quickly as originally intended.

British intelligence also published a new map of Ukraine revealing Russia’s latest attacks and the parts of the country occupied and controlled by the Russians.

According to the map, Russian troops control much of the land corridor between Crimea and Donbas, with just a handful of contested areas standing in the way. While strikes continue in Western cities like Kyiv and Lviv, most of Russia’s firepower has been redirected to Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Nova Kakhova.

The British map also predicts that Russian troops will advance north from Kherson and Melitopol in the south, while more troops enter the Donbas region over the Russian border from the north and the east.

Pentagon Predicts Russia Will Intensify Attacks

U.S. Defense officials believe that Russia’s latest offensive in Donetsk is a sign of things to come, and that the latest missile strikes are consistent with Western intelligence that suggested the Kremlin would shift its focus from the Ukrainian capital city and instead focus on taking control of Donbas.

“We think these offensives are preludes to larger offensive operations that the Russians plan to conduct,” an unnamed Defense official said.

The same official also said that the United States has observed several ground offenses in the region, including the use of long-range missiles and artillery bombardment. CNBC also reported that the defense official believes that not all of Russia’s troops have been redeployed to fight in Ukraine, with some Russian units still actively resupplying.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.



  1. CK

    April 20, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Only if there is any justice in the world.

    It’s early days, I think it will take longer to know for certain. It will still take days and weeks for most of the latest heavy equipment NATO has sent to reach the front. By then, it might be too late.

    One silver lining is that every day the Azovstal Plant holds, 14k orcs are forced to shelter in hollowed out Mariupol. I despair any day now, they will gas out or use chemical weapons inside the maze like interiors, turning the plant into one giant morgue for the soldiers and civilians trapped there.

    Let’s hope the Ukrainians can thwart these offensives, as they have before, and begin retaking territory. Slava Ukraini!

  2. Alex

    April 20, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    What is really happening? Here’s just the facts:
    Another 127 residents of Mariupol were evacuated from the area near the Azovstal plant.

    On Wednesday morning, the Headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the DPR reported that over the past 24 hours, 557 people were taken from Mariupol to the refugee reception center in Bezymenny, and since March 5, 20,502 people in total. These are those civilians who are not seen by the West and who were covered by Bandera Nazis.
    On April 20, another humanitarian corridor was opened, but the declared humanitarian operation by the Kiev authorities was cynically disrupted, no one used the indicated corridor.

    The Russian Aerospace Forces hit 12 Ukrainian military facilities with missiles in a day, as a result of the strikes, more than 150 fighters of the national battalions were killed.

    Bunler’s Nazis continue to kill civilians in the hope of blaming Russia for it.
    Military investigators found dozens of bodies of civilians while examining Mariupol city hospital No. 4, which was under fire from the Ukrainian side.

    According to eyewitnesses, Ukrainian nationalists repeatedly committed crimes against captured military personnel and civilians, in particular, they fired at residential buildings with large-caliber guns, attacked civilians and mined infrastructure.

    Of course, all Bandera Nazis and those who support them will face trial. For some, he will be immediately at the scene of the crime.

  3. Andrew M Winter

    April 20, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    Oh dear.

    Some folks are finally cottoning on the just how stupid this move by Russia may really be. I have to love this quote, “continues to be impacted by the environmental, logistical and technical challenges”

    Environmental and Logistical challenges.

    They just don’t want to say that Russia was stupid for trying to mount a mechanized war during this crap,

    Rasputitsa. The Sea of Mud. Stretches from the Black Sea to the Leningrad next door to Finland. It happens in the Spring and the Fall. And it will not let up until around JUNE. It is a sea of mud that has, and will continue to swallow tanks whole, bind all motorized warfare to ROADs, if they are paved, dirt roads don’t work either.

    What makes it even more incredible is that Moscow knows all this crap. They used it against the NAZIs in World War II. One of the main reasons the Germans built the PANZER Tank with wider treads was because of the MUD. The Reason the T-34 had wider treads was because of the MUD. Worse neither were able to actually solve the problem.

    The mud is so bad a troop of angry Boy Scouts could hold up an armored battalion for a week. The tanks would get mired in the MUD and the Boys Scouts would just have to throw rocks at the tankers when they have to get out of the tank to go take a dump.

    It could really get that bad in some instances. Rasputitsa is no joke. It isn’t just some fairy tail invented to exaggerate why the Eastern Front was another name for Hell for the average Wehrmacht soldier.

  4. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 12:30 am

    Well, their stupidity is our gain I guess. Hopefully they keep repeating basic mistakes until its too late, like sailing flagships unescorted into the maws of naval missiles…

    As for our friend, I’ll refer you to the same post I leave him with when he copy pastes his statistics over and over again.

    Alex, don’t be lazy. At least vary up your script a bit.

    89% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    Exhibit A – the post above. It’s all just noise at this point. Classic Internet Research Agency tactic, fill the air with noise, not necessarily just untruths (although here Alex has been very generous) but so many views and numbers it becomes impossible to ascertain the truth.

    Though again even here, Alex is incapable of following simple instructions. His arguments and numbers are just so outlandish and r fetched they invite only ridicule.

  5. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 12:33 am

    You can claim anything. Like a Bandera Nazi who writes about 20-50-70.000 dead Russians. However, when foreign intelligence indicates intelligence close to Russian data, everything becomes clear. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Averikan, German, Chinese and other independent journalists who document all the facts about the real losses of the parties and the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis. Soon their materials will have an effect greater than any nuclear bomb on earth. Thanks to Russia for once again clearing the world of Bandera scum.

  6. Vladolph Putler

    April 21, 2022 at 12:37 am

    Maybe so, but June isn’t that far away. Besides, whose mud is it? Ukraine’s mud. Was then, is now. That matters.

    What is more interesting, I think, is the volume of tracked IFV/APC and light armor SHORAD systems Ukraine is getting. Such light tracked vehicles will be able to maraud all over the place while tanks are still struggling. Toting 30mm cannons, SHORAD, and ATGM systems in addition to dismounted MANPAD systems and obviously infantry.

    Add that to the wildcard of how deep their domestically produced guided artillery shell stocks are, and whether they are able to add gimballed laser designators on meaningful volumes of commercial drones.

    Plus those 155mm howitzers towed by APC are going to wreak some havoc for sure- due to ammunition stock depths. Ukrainians are going to be able to hose artillery around like the drunk Kadrovites do with AKs.

    No one will be able to get car insurance in Ukraine due to the “hit and run” rates. XD

  7. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 12:43 am

    Are we just making up countries now, too? Who tf are Avericans? V and M aren’t even close to each other on the keyboard you twit.

    Unless of course, you are typing with Russian script, where M is placed where V is in other keyboards. But how can that be Alex, when you have claimed to be Polish? Why would a Polish nationalist be typing in Russian script? Have you given yourself away?

    Sad. Unlike the Averikan, looks like you Averikan’t get anything right.

  8. Vladolph Putler

    April 21, 2022 at 12:47 am

    Oh! That “Bandera Nazi”- you must mean me! 🙂 Warms my heart that you take the time to mention me before I even grace you presence.

    But that number of dead, what do the Ukrainians call them? Oh yeah! Orcs. That number of dead Orcs is almost up to 21,000 and conservative estimates put non-fatality casualties about triple the number of KIA. So I guess your attempt at exaggeration really is conservative at this point, because that’s 80,000 Russian… excuse me… Orc casualties. 😉

    Подберите драку с маленьким ребенком. Терять. Откажитесь сдаваться. Сильно избивайтесь. Откажитесь признать поражение. Все зубы выбиты. Такой позор, не такой красивый сейчас. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  9. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 1:09 am

    Take a Xanox, youngster. You are already confused in your nicknames. You don’t sleep at night, you’re on duty here, Bandera troll 🙂

    The victories continue:

    The city of Rubizhne near Lugansk came under the final control of Russian troops.

    The published video shows how the Russian flag and the Chechen flag with Akhmat Kadyrov are raised at the entrance to the city.

    The day before, the settlement of Kremennaya passed under the control of the LPR.

    Every day there is good news from the Slavic brothers who are destroying the Bandera Nazis.

  10. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 4:34 am

    Alex, tell me, is the rest of your life this pathetic too? Is this why Sveta doesn’t respect you?

    Look at you dude. Nose so far up Putin’s asshole, you can smell the caviar on his plate before it touches his lips. Don’t you have any self respect?

    I’d use my same old line about Kadyrov being a clown, but it’s tired and overworked, like Sveta.

    But you my friend, are not a clown, you are the entire circus.

  11. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    According to statistics on April 21, since the beginning of the operation, Russia has destroyed Ukrainian equipment: 99% of tanks and other armored vehicles of Ukraine (2410 out of 2416 vehicles that were in Ukrainian troops on February 24), 92% of military aircraft (140 out of 152), 71% of the fleet helicopters (106 out of 149), 48% of MLRS installations (262 out of 535) and so on. This does not take into account the equipment that may have entered the Ukrainian troops after the start of the special operation, but in any case, the Air Force and Air Defense of Ukraine were practically destroyed, and the Navy ceased to exist.

  12. CK

    April 22, 2022 at 5:27 am

    Meanwhie, Putin declares ultimate victory over the world, marries Elon Musk, pigs fly, and Alex returns home with loaded pockets, a loving wife and a fulfiling life.

    Ah, the power of imagination…

  13. Alex

    April 23, 2022 at 9:46 am

    The first phase of the special military operation in Ukraine has been completed and two days ago the second phase of three began. Consequently, Russia is acting according to its plan, ignoring the squeals of the West and the screams of the dying Bandera Nazis.

  14. CK

    April 23, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    First Phase: Inglorious Retreat.
    Second Phase: See Phase 1.
    Third Phase: Face-saving exercise.

  15. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 4:47 am

    So who is losing? Obviously not Russia.

    American Colonel Martin spoke about Biden’s failure in Ukraine.

    US President Joe Biden has failed in his policy towards Ukraine. This opinion was expressed in a column on The Washington Post website by retired American Colonel Wes Martin.

    The head of the White House, as noted in the material, tried to prevent the Ukrainian conflict by diplomatic measures – and could not. The author referred to the statement of the former acting. CIA Director Michael Morell, who expressed the opinion that Biden’s attacks on Russian leader Vladimir Putin only “rallied the beleaguered Russian elite.” “Not a single citizen of Russia will put up with the fact that the main enemy of his state inspires him what kind of power in his country can be and what is not,” Martin quoted Morell as saying.

    “Proving once again that he is nowhere near Reagan, Biden publicly called Putin a ‘butcher’ and a ‘war criminal.’ through Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin,” the author of the material noted.
    Ukraine and Afghanistan are far from the only reasons why Biden’s ratings have slipped to an all-time low of 42 percent. People, Martin notes, are unimpressed by his foreign policy experience. Do not add popularity and record inflation of 8.5 percent and a sharp rise in energy prices – the harbingers of a recession.

    At the end of March, NBC News published the results of a poll, according to which 53 percent of Americans believe that the country will begin a long-term recession, which will lead to the loss of American leadership in the world. When answering the question about Biden’s ability to correctly respond to the situation around Ukraine, only 12 percent of respondents expressed complete confidence in the actions of the head of administration.

    CNN, in turn, reported that the confidence rating of US President Joe Biden has reached a record low. According to a generalized analysis of polls published by four organizations last week, the level of confidence in the US president is about 41%, and according to one of them – only 33%. This is a record low compared to all of Biden’s predecessors in the same period of the presidential term.

  16. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 6:18 am

    @Alex – deny, deflect, obfuscate. Seriously, that’s you in a book.

    Don’t look at Putin! Look at Biden! Don’t look at what we’re doing in Ukraine, look at your country! Recession, CNN, political division, look elsewhere, but please, don’t look at what is happening in Russia! Internet Research Agency script in a nutshell.

    Also, poor you man, they are making you work on Orthodox Easter? The night money Sveta brings not enough to keep you guys afloat anymore? Let me know if you need any donations. I’m sure I have a few cents lying around that will be worth a fortune in roubles!

  17. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Yes, Russia has big “problems”:
    There is the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is the Luhansk People’s Republic. Kherson applied to Russia for a referendum to establish the Kherson People’s Republic. God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

  18. CK

    April 25, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Yes Alex, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also re-applied to join the Russian Federation. In this reality, Putin has conquered his hemorrhoids, and you and Sveta live happily ever after.

    It’s nice to sit back and daydream, isn’t it? ?

  19. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 2:19 am

    Why is Russia with the people’s militia of Donbass taking new territories of Ukraine every day? Let’s figure it out:

    The West failed to turn much of the world against Russia after the military operation in Ukraine began, columnist Howard French wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.
    According to him, many states did not support sanctions against Moscow, including such large countries as India and China.

    “In fact, when counting the population of these countries, it becomes clear that the states representing the majority of humanity have not taken a position in this conflict, seeing in it the familiar echoes of the former rivalry between East and West,” said French .
    According to the observer, the international political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century from the very beginning gave the countries of the “third world” the status of second-class states. As an example, he cited the colonization of Africa by European countries.

    “It was the work of the work and cotton in the people of sugar unpaid smelted and all made of American colonies profitable Europe, and the so- rich for “Old the World” new and millions did ,” the author emphasized.

    French urged not to ignore the heightened sense of justice among the former colonized peoples.

    “The whole world” with Ukraine 🙂
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  20. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Well Alex, if that is the case, we wish you the best of luck with your new Chinese masters. I hear they are very kind to minorities.

  21. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:31 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  22. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

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