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Putin’s War in Ukraine Is Back On

Russian Navy
Russian Naval vessels firing a cruise missile. Image Credit: Screenshot from YouTube.

It seems the operational pause that was in place in Ukraine now seems over: On day 144 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military has restarted a major offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.

The Situation in the Donbas 

After an operational pause that lasted approximately ten days, the Russian military has recommenced major offensive operations in the Donbas, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Despite the end of the operational pause, however, the Russian military hasn’t achieved any major gains. Ground assaults on the two different axes in the Donbas didn’t produce any results for the Russian forces.

As we have said previously, the recent successes of the Russian military in the Donbas (Severodonetsk and Lysychansk) actually made the Ukrainian defense stronger because they shortened the frontline. Indeed, that was probably the reason why the Ukrainian military withdrew from its positions in and around the two cities in the first place—but not before exacting a very heavy price from the Russian attackers.

News from the Southern Front in Ukraine

In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense focused on the southern front around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The Ukrainian military has launched a counteroffensive in the region and has been making gains, forcing the Russian forces to dig in and stay on the defensive.

“Russia is reinforcing its defensive positions across the occupied areas of the South of Ukraine. This includes the movement of manpower, equipment and defensive stores between Mariupol and Zaporizhia, and in Kherson,” the British Military Intelligence assessed,” adding that the “Russian forces in Melitopol are also increasing security measures.”

“Ukrainian forces have been applying pressure on the Russian defensive line in Kherson Oblast for over a month now, and recent political statements from both Zelenskky and the Deputy Prime Minister have warned of forthcoming offense operations to force Russia out of the areas it currently controls,” the British Ministry of Defense stated.

“Russian defensive moves are likely a response to anticipated Ukrainian offensives, to demands made by Defence Minister Shoygu on a recent visit to the Donbas, and also to the attacks Ukraine is launching against command posts, logistic nodes and troop concentrations,” the British Ministry of Defense added.

Russia Tanks

A service member of pro-Russian troops is seen atop a tank during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict near the Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 5, 2022. Picture taken May 5, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

“Given the pressures on Russian manpower, the reinforcement of the South whilst the fight for the Donbas continues likely indicates the seriousness with which Russian commanders view the threat,” the British Military Intelligence stated.

Russian Casualties 

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 38,300 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 220 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 188 attack and transport helicopters, 1,684 tanks, 846 artillery pieces, 3,879 armored personnel carriers, 248 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 2,746 vehicles and fuel tanks, 110 anti-aircraft batteries, 688 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 68 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 166 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Jim

    July 17, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    If this was an accurate assessment of the military situation, there would be reason for hope.

    (Perhaps that is the purpose of the article.)

    Problem is it’s a one-sided assessment with every benefit of the doubt given to the Ukrainian Military.

    Realism demands accurate assessments, not rose-colored glasses.

    Donbas: A rosy assessment to say the least. The Ukraine military was “pounded out” of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, leaving piles of stand-off hand-held weapons and many military vehicles (even tanks).

    In a tactical withdrawal, you don’t leave weapons behind, you take them with you.

    You leave weapons when you have no choice.

    The Russians regrouped, but for a shorter time-frame than the author states, here, in this article.

    The Russians have been making steady progress (although slow in terms of an American mindset, but not necessarily in a Russian mindset) and have closed the noose around the next line of Ukrainian defense.

    (By the end of this week expect the map to change.)

    The author states: [Russian attacks after Lysychansk] “didn’t produce any results…”

    False… it’s called closing on your enemy and shaping the battlefield.

    (As a side-note, taking public British military assessments at face value is problematic.)

    An objective observer should take all available reports into account and balance the various claims & assessments and weigh them based on past accuracy.

    Ukrainian claims & British assessments have a poor track record.)

    As for the southern front, Russia is in a holding action, although I agree with the author that the Russians are reinforcing their positions.

    (I saw a video where a Ukrainian column was carpet bombed and the number of casualties must have been substantial.)

    The promised Ukrainian counter-offensive (I didn’t know you telegraphed your military plans in advance to the enemy.) hasn’t moved the front line appreciably.

    This rose-colored glasses approach will only create disappointment when a more realistic assessment is made or when facts on the ground become undeniable.

    • marcjf

      July 18, 2022 at 3:13 am

      I agree with this analysis. The UAF suffered two encirclements in the Severodonetsk battle and probably a third when they retreated from there, with perhaps fragments escaping down minor roads. Their forces in the area have dropped from c 80 bns to c 60 battalions. Possibly some have been deployed elsewhere but my earlier estimate of 9 to 12 UAF battalions largely destroyed in pockets looks plausible.

      The Russians have increased their battalions from c 80 to 105. Now it is possible that the Russian units are depleted and the UAF units are not. Nevertheless with the Russian firepower advantage I think not. The Russians seem to be targetting specific UAF units with fire and causing extreme damage, prior to limited attacks to fix them in place and subject them to even more firepower. My objective analysis would be that UAF losses are a multiple of those being inflicted on the Russians.

      Himars may be have an impact in a decisive sense, but I think this is more likely to be of a more limited nature. Meanwhile the Russians continue to fire long range guided missiles deep into the Ukraine – though we were told in March they had exausted stocks. The Ukraine claims these are targetted on civilians but I consider that the Russians would not waste such ordinance in this way and are actually destroying much of the Ukrainian military and command infrastructure.

      In summary I don’t believe what either side says, but the facts on the ground seem to indicate that the Ukrainians are currently losing. Not that much territory to be sure, but their army seems to be getting attritted faster than it can be replaced, and my analysis is that the Russia is becoming relatively more dominant despite its own losses.

  2. Goran

    July 17, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    …. and so continues the slide of once great Russian society into further isolation and darkness.

    • Jim

      July 18, 2022 at 9:22 am

      On the contrary, Russia is getting stronger (much like the way the U.S. revved up as a result of WWII) and America & Europe are getting weaker.

      This is a disaster for the American People and those who goaded this war into being (Washington) will be held accountable.

      • Goran

        July 18, 2022 at 12:11 pm

        Russia is getting stronger? Well, maybe someone should let Putin know, he seems to be in the dark as he believes that Russia is actually facing a “colossal amount of difficulties”.

      • ZoneDr

        July 18, 2022 at 3:58 pm

        Why is there no accounting of Ukraine casualties and losses? This article is pure bullshit/propaganda.

  3. pagar

    July 17, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Biden and NATO politicians should tell thenselves ukraine is afghanistan of europe.

    The donbass militias are the taliban of eastern ukraine and russia is their pakistan ally.

    Afghanistan shared borders with countries that didn’t participate in the NATO action against the taliban and now they don’t have any trouble.

    Europe should learn a valuable lesson from them. Stop interfering or messing about with donbass and russia !!! !!! !!! !!!

  4. cobo

    July 17, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Me and my drinking buddies have come to an agreement… It’s time to get that bridge – you know, ‘that’ bridge. So, the Ukrainians are proving to be the first class warriors on the planet. Let’s keep our big mouths shut and give them what they need. Oh, and make sure to get some great video

  5. Stefan Stackhouse

    July 17, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    The pause wasn’t going to last any longer than absolutely necessary. There should be no surprise there.

  6. Bobby

    July 18, 2022 at 8:57 am

    Russia shot down a SU-34 yesterday. It was one their own. Putin humiliates himself!

  7. Joel Weymouth

    July 18, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Propaganda. Russia will humiliate us and China will then take Taiwan, then North Korea will roll up South Korea. You and your arrogance and lack of knowledge of history. You think the US is such a powerhouse but has not fought a real enemy since 1951, and the Chinese kicked our ass. We have fought 3rd world insurgencies and they kicked our ass. Look back at WORLD WAR 2, it took Russia a year to liberate Ukraine from the Nazis, and the Nazis had just been “slaughtered” at Stalingrad and later at Kursk. January 1943 to October 1944. Get some perspective before you start parroting for MI6. They want us in a war, they dragooned us in 1916, not this time.

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