Espreso. Global

Fog of war covers temporarily occupied Kherson region — military expert Zgurets

14 November, 2023 Tuesday

A strange event happened in Russia with a report from state news agencies. The invaders spread the news that the “Dnepr” group of Russian troops, which operates on the left bank of the Dnipro River, will be withdrawn to more favorable positions

The left bank of the Dnipro River

A strange event happened in Russia with a report from the state news agencies of the aggressor country citing the Russian Ministry of Defense. The invaders spread the news that the “Dnepr” group of Russian troops, which occupies the left bank of the Kherson region, will be withdrawn to more favorable positions further east of the Dnipro River. This is another "gesture of goodwill.” But this news was up for a few minutes and then retracted.

This situation really looks strange and even incomprehensible. Everyone started looking for explanations. One of them was that the Ukrainian side had created a fake account of the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Russian agencies fell for it. There are likely to be other versions. However, I think it is still premature to really assume that Russia will withdraw its troops from the left bank of the Dnipro River. Because there is information about the successful actions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the left bank near Kherson. We are talking about the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the areas of Poyma, Kozachi Laheri and Krynky. Even the Institute for the Study of War points out that there is a systematic establishment and expansion of bridgeheads, as well as the cutting of communication routes along the Dnipro River by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

There are two lines of communication in this area. The first is a road that goes from Oleshky through Pishchanivka to Kozachi Laheri, Krynky, and to Nova Kakhovka. There is an extremely difficult section under this road, where the entire coast is cut by small rivers and swampy areas. And it is extremely difficult to approach it. And the second road, which is located three kilometers from Krynky. Movement from this settlement to the highway is also extremely dangerous for Russian troops because it will cut another rocky road used by them.

So, this direction is really dangerous for Russia. But we should keep in mind that conducting an airborne operation across the Dnipro River is an extremely difficult operation for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We must understand all the risks of such an operation. And Russia can also use information approaches to create a provocation by talking about the withdrawal of its troops. Of course, this is not happening. The fog of war in this section of the front remains, and everything will depend on the further actions of the Ukrainian military, as well as on how Russia tries to build its defense. This section of the front remains extremely important, as do other areas.

By the way, 69 clashes took place along the entire frontline over the past day. Half of them took place in Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka. That is, each of the frontline areas is extremely important.

Frontline update: Donetsk region

Oleksandr Afanasyev, an officer with the 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Siversk-Soledar area, said that the Russians have never abandoned their intention to capture Siversk. His brigade has been fighting in this area for almost a year and a half and has been performing tasks since the days when Bakhmut and Soledar were under the protection of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The main task of the brigade is to destroy the enemy and draw away a large number of enemy reserves that can be used in other battles. Russian troops are constantly attacking and conducting aerial reconnaissance. Russia's VKS (Aerospace Forces) use huge 1000-kilogram bombs to destroy the city of Siversk. The enemy reserves are always larger than our troops, but our artillery is great. If only we could remove the enemy FPV drones that fly 12-15 kilometers away and try to fly into the area where our artillery is based.

The officer added that, unfortunately, the city's civilian infrastructure is being destroyed. People who stayed there until the end are leaving Siversk because Russia is using heavy artillery and FABs.

Communication systems on the battlefield

And now let’s talk about technology, about the fact that we can count the number of tanks, artillery, and ammunition, but there are things that are actually extremely indispensable, even more so than certain types of weapons. We are talking about the things that ensure control and interaction between units - communication systems. L3Harris has been supplying military radios to Ukraine for over 10 years. These radios are the basis for the control of Ukraine’s most combat-ready military units.

Serhiy Chepel, managing partner of Radio Satcom Group LLC, which represents L3Harris Corporation in Ukraine, said that the company's radios meet all the requirements of radio equipment for combat control systems. There are a lot of these radios now, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of radios we need. In addition, the radios fail as a result of combat losses in terms of equipment and, unfortunately, people. Nevertheless, this equipment is used by the most combat-ready units. Those personnel who are familiar with the technology and its operational intricacies recognize that this equipment stands as the best available. It is regarded as the premier radio in the world across all classes. Hence, the key consideration lies in adept and skillful use. It is an absolutely reliable, technologically proven and correct element that is used in battle management systems.

The managing partner of Radio Satcom Group LLC addressed the topic of radio station repairs, emphasizing that discussions about the deployment of repairs often come from individuals who lack a comprehensive understanding of the situation. According to the expert, it's the accessories that commonly malfunction rather than the radios themselves. To address this issue effectively, there is a need to enhance the repair and supply of accessories, advocating for proactive budgetary allocation for the purchase of items such as antennas, headsets, cable connectors, and more. The objective is to streamline the process, considering the time constraints. That is, repairing and training people while increasing the number of the Ukrainian Armed Forces several times is a problem that is quite difficult to solve during the war.

Chepel advocates for a unified line of tactical radios, acknowledging the existing diversity of radio equipment. He underscores the ideal scenario of having a singular line but notes that achieving this requires establishing peace, securing victory, and subsequently structuring a new army with NATO-style technical standards. Currently, a shortage of qualified personnel exists, making it imperative for commanders to facilitate horizontal communication. There are viable opportunities for achieving this objective.

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