Espreso. Global

Defense of Mykolaiv and Odesa, offensive dynamics in south: weekly military results 

22 July, 2023 Saturday

Military expert Serhiy Zgurets told about the situation in the Kupiansk - Svatove - Kreminna direction, offensive in Bakhmut and in the south, and ways to counter Russian attacks after their exit from the grain deal


How much cluster munitions Ukraine can receive

One cluster munition is equal in effectiveness to eight conventional 155-mm ammunition rounds. This means we can destroy enemy forces and equipment much faster. We have received the most modern ammunition - it has a small amount of submunitions that remain unexploded. We are talking about the amount of up to 1.5%. One munition covers an area equal to the size of a football field. We have examples of their use near Kupiansk (Kharkiv region) and near Krasnohorivka (Donetsk region). They have been used along the entire frontline. The Americans have about 3 million rounds of ammunition of various modifications. In my opinion, we will receive a few hundred thousand so far, but deliveries will be regular.

Photo: Reuters

Frontline in Luhansk region remains the same

The line Kupiansk - Svatove - Kreminna" is 170 km long. This area has come to life. Over the past 3-4 days, there have been hostilities near Kupiansk. We are talking about 100,000 personnel and a significant amount of equipment. There is a nuance - along the entire eastern front, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have parity with the Russians in manpower. I think there is a certain parity in weapons as well. The Russians have an advantage in artillery, at least they did before Ukraine received cluster munitions.

There are three directions where the enemy is active right now. First, they are trying to advance towards Kupiansk to seize part of the road leading to Svatove. The Russians are also trying to act in the area of Novoselske, where the front line is unchanged. The most active section of the front is near the Zherebets River (Nevske, Torske, Yampolivka). The Russians want to push the Defense Forces beyond the river. Ukrainian military speak of great dynamics - the enemy is using aviation and artillery, but there is no change in the front line. There were advances towards Torske, then the enemy was repelled. This suggests that the Ukrainian army has the potential to deter a Russian offensive. Russian experts themselves cannot understand what is happening on the front line.

Bakhmut: Russia is panicking about losing the city

Bakhmut remains the hottest spot on the frontline. Fighting is going on in the south and in the north. We have repeatedly spoken about Berkhivka and Klishchiivka, where the Ukrainian Armed Forces are trying to take over the strategically important territories. Ukrainian forces have already occupied the dominant heights, in particular in Klishchiyivka, and the enemy is trying to counterattack, having significantly increased the number of personnel. In Klishchiiivka, which is located in a lowland, two companies of Russians have been sitting under the dominant heights for quite some time.

The Russian Federation is throwing in reserves to avoid leaving from Bakhmut. The enemy fears losing the city, and the preconditions for losing it are Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka and Andriivka, which provide a flanking route around the city and cut off the highways. Trying to bypass Bakhmut is what General Syrsky's tactics are all about, and there is no need to enter the city itself. Bakhmut and the areas around it are saturated with Russian troops and it will not be easy to drive them out. The fact that Russian troops are held and destroyed there is one of the functions of Bakhmut.

Offensive in southern Ukraine: Russian forces try to counterattack, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces knock them out

Zaporizhzhia direction. There are two main areas - the Berdiansk direction (from Velyka Novosilka). There have been long-lasting battles in two settlements - Staromaiorske and Urozhaine. Russian troops always try to launch a counterattack after reinforcing their forces and after they are driven out of their positions. Ukrainian troops come in, knock the Russians out, they retreat, accumulate forces and try to counterattack again. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are also launching attacks to secure control over the village of Pryiutne. They continue to use small unit tactics there.

The second direction is Melitopol. Moving from Orikhove to Melitopol. There is fighting around Robotyne and Verbove. The situation is the same. Ukrainian forces are advancing, the enemy is counterattacking, and for a long time this dynamic has been going on for almost every meter. I think this affects the pace of the fighting. On July 21, CIA Director William Burns said that he remains optimistic about the Ukrainian offensive. He said that based on his information, there is every reason to be optimistic about the prospects for the Ukrainian offensive. Burns said that the Russian army suffers from structural deficiencies - low morale, poor command, and disarray among the military and political leadership. This does not mean that Ukraine should immediately be optimistic. Despite these shortcomings, the size of the Russian army and its stockpile of weapons force Ukraine to make a choice: it must continue to use its means of warfare effectively to destroy the enemy at this stage. Create conditions for a breakthrough by mechanized units that are waiting for their time. 

Bradley IFV is a reliable basis for the victories of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle embodies the Western defense industry's attitude to man and weapon. The equipment is designed around a person, so that the soldier can perform the task efficiently and be protected. The use of these IFVs by the Ukrainian military confirms this point. Bradleys are extremely effective - they can withstand the impact of external attack. And even in case of mine explosions, they preserve the vehicle crew. The Americans say they have handed over about 190 Bradleys, but only 10 have actually been lost. All the others that were damaged were recovered and repaired. In particular, in Ukraine - directly on the front line, and the rest - in Poland. Bradley remains a reliable basis for Ukraine’s further victory.


Ways to protect Odesa and Mykolaiv

Ukraine needs to strengthen the air defense of its cities, in particular Odesa and Mykolaiv, with new air defense equipment. This is the best way so far. The second option is to intensify measures to destroy Russian launchers - sea-based carriers and coastal missile defense systems. F-16s with missiles for various purposes can hit Bastion systems. There should be a hunt for the systems and strengthening of the air defense of Ukrainian cities. Now Russia has been striking at Ukraine’s infrastructure for four days in a row and is trying to provoke a global food crisis. This may be an impetus to intensify the supply of air defense equipment and to make more conceptual decisions on the protection of Ukrainian port cities.

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