The counteroffensive may have already begun but as much of the battlefield specifics, there will be limited timely information available going forward.
Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)
Russian forces did not conduct any ground assaults on the Kharkiv City Axis on July 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to focus on restraining Ukrainian advances toward the international border. Russian forces conducted an airstrike on Verkhnii Saltiv and continued shelling Kharkiv City and the surrounding settlements.
Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault northwest of Slovyansk and shelled settlements to the southeast and southwest of Izyum on July 23. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Ukrainian troops neutralized a Russian reconnaissance group in Bohorodychne, about 20 km northwest of Slovyansk. Russian forces shelled Dibrovne, Krasnopillya, and Mazanivka, all northwest of Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, as well as areas southwest of Izyum in the vicinity of Barvinkove.
Russian forces conducted ground attacks east of Siversk in an attempt to directly advance on the city on July 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops tried and failed to advance in the directions of Verkhnokamyankse and Siversk. The language of this report suggests that Russian forces may be advancing closer to the outskirts of Siversk itself from positions in the east. Russian forces also continued air and artillery strikes to the north, south, and east of Siversk.
Russian forces conducted limited reconnaissance operations to the east of Bakhmut and continued unsuccessful ground attacks south of Bakhmut on July 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces stopped Russian reconnaissance groups from probing Ukrainian positions around Pokrovske (5 km east of Bakhmut) and Soledar (10 km northeast of Bakhmut) and that Russian forces continued unsuccessful attacks near the Vuhledar Power Plant in Novoluhanske, about 20 km southeast of Bakhmut. Russian forces continued artillery and airstrikes on and around Bakhmut to continue to set conditions for advances directly on the city.
Ukrainian forces are likely preparing to launch or have launched a counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast as of July 23, but open-source visibility on the progress and tempo of the counteroffensive will likely be limited and lag behind events. Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Administration Adviser Serhiy Khlan stated on July 23 that Ukrainian forces have seized unspecified settlements in Kherson Oblast but called on Ukrainian civilians to remain silent on the progress of the counteroffensive until Ukrainian authorities release official statements. Foreign Policy National Security Reporter Jack Detsch reported on July 22 that an unspecified senior US defense official stated that Ukrainian forces have recaptured unspecified “portions of Russian-occupied villages” in Kherson over the past week of July 15-22, indicating that Ukrainian forces have made some unspecified territorial advances along frontlines. The area between the front line and Kherson City is rural and primarily composed of small settlements that are less likely to report on force movements and engagements, allowing control-of-terrain in this area to change without evidence appearing in open-source reporting. Russian authorities additionally have no incentive to report on Ukrainian territorial gains. The informational dynamics that allow ISW to report on Russian offensive operations with relatively little lag are thus inverted in this situation. ISW will report on the progress of any Ukrainian counteroffensives to the best of its ability within these constraints.
We now regularly hear now from people aside from Putin (for example former prime minister and president Dmitri Medvedev) about the meaning of the war, the catastrophic consequences that await Ukraine and the West, and so forth. This is a sign that Putin is losing control. 1/
Usually the news coverage of such pronouncements focuses on their content. It is tempting to get caught up in the Russian fear propaganda. But the real story is that people aside from Putin now feel authorized to make such proclamations. Before the war there was less of this 2/
The doom propaganda serves a couple of purposes. On the surface, it shows loyalty to Putin. At a time when Russia is losing, the best hope is to convince the West that Russia is somehow unstoppable (which it isn't – like the U.S., its history is littered with defeat in war). 3/
At the same time, the doom propaganda is rhetorical preparation for a power struggle after Putin falls. 4/
If Russia loses the war, the people saying radical things now will have protected themselves. For my part, I tend to see the drastic proclamations as evidence that important Russians think that Russia is losing. 5/
I'm not convinced Medvedev, who for years was seen as the liberal alternative to Putin, believes the antisemitic, anti-Polish, anti-Western hate speech he publishes on Telegram. He's creating a profile that might be useful later (just as his technocrat profile was once useful) 6/
Another interesting example is Ramzan Kadyrov, who has run Chechnya as his own personal satrapy since he helped Putin win the Second Chechen War. Kadyrov commands a kind of personal armed guard that appears alongside the Russian army in its foreign wars. 7/
In Ukraine, Kadyrov's men have arranged matters so as not to have taken very many casualties. From the perspective of his own interests, this makes sense. They are available for a future power struggle in a post-Putin Russia. 8/
Kadyrov now proposes that Russia locate air defense systems in Chechnya. His justification is that Ukraine might attack Chechnya, which is not credible. It sounds more like he is preparing for a post-Putin Russia in which Chechnya would claim independence. 9/
Another sign of weakness for Putin is the army itself. The argument over whether Russia is winning or losing can be made in military terms. 10/
But the army itself is a source of Putin's political strength. The claim of its eternal invincibility is a consistent element of Putin's own propaganda. 11/
Russians might think that Russia is winning the war (I don't). But out there in the real world, on Ukrainian territory, the Russian army is taking losses. 12/
The Russian army is taking losses in equipment and in officers, that threaten its integrity as an institution, not to mention its ability to fulfill its many other missions beyond Ukraine. 13/
Sanctions make this worse. A world-class army is not one that goes hunting in Teheran for drones reverse-engineered from Western technology. But that is where Russia is right now. 14/
Putin can survive the army not being strong. But at a certain point, not being strong becomes not looking strong. 15/
The Russian army is also taking horrible losses in men, which suggests the next sign of Putin's weakness. The Russian state can mobilize its population for war only at the level of emotions, not bodies. 16/
Russian regions are now working hard to find highly-paid "volunteers" who are sent to die with little training. 17/
Putin is clearly afraid that a general mobilization would undo his popularity and bring down his regime. In this sense he is weak. 18/
The Russian state looks fascist at the top, but it lacks the fascist capacity for total war. It has governed thus far by the demobilization of its population, not its mobilization. 19/
The old communist joke went "we pretend to work and you pretend to pay us." In Russia today the reality is something more like "you pretend to win a war and we pretend to show enthusiasm." 20/
Putin has soft support for the war, so long as it is a television show, but cannot count on Russians to risk their actual bodies. 21/
The dramatic rhetoric on Russian television and on the Telegram channels of Russian leaders is thus rather a substitute for than evidence of a national consensus about the war. 22/
So long as everyone says nationalistic things, a certain equilibrium is preserved. But this amounts to everyone bluffing everyone else. 23/
The equilibrium that keeps Putin in power—mastery over rivals, soft support in the population, integrity of the army—is challenged by the realities of an unpredictable, costly war. Putin has been good at keeping us all in a fog. But now he himself seems lost in the fog of war 24/
The trap presented to Putin by rivals, by the public, by the army looks like this: we will all agree with you that we are winning the war, and we will all blame you when if we lose it. This is all clouded by emotion, displacement, and fear. But this is the general picture. 25/
It is not clear how Putin can escape, except by declaring victory. 26/
Putin's gamble, as ever, is that the West will feel the pain faster than he will. This is how his foreign policy works: generate losses for everyone, including Russia, in the hope that the other side will concede first. 27/
Putin has seemed like a good gambler in the past. A good gambler, though, knows when to fold. 28/28
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actually if you don't count the #Lyssychansk
retreat which was only initiate for the safety of the soldiers, by direct order of the President himself, that's about 3 weeks that's Russian are not going anywhere!
I'm old enough to remember all the genius out there claiming Ukr
should directly retreat and retreat again to the #Sloviansk
line of defense..
was a "done deal" for Russian 3 weeks ago... right??? yeah bite me!
Ukr have drained the russian, stomp their momentum, shut down their will.
5 months later... and a third of an emperial army down... the russians are still kissing the dust in the middle of nowhere, with no cities left to be of any real use. Not ready to wear their parade costumes..
here the Gen staff report for notifications, and ref :
by the way.. some ppl still putting south of #Pokrovske
occupied is wrong. Ru are out of there.
Also they r not in the full control of the Heights of #bilohorivka
, lower part of the city is kind of an empty shell. like a "buffer zone" Ru still remember last Kraken SOF visit
6/ for several days now, there is another wave of FSB iniated full wave of disinformation all around western countries, lots on French TV (@LCI qui parle des systèmes mafieux en Ukr par exemple..) & It & Uk as i can tell.
well. you can read this for infos
in the meantime while Ru are telling again & again & again how Ukrainians are not good enough to believe, to deal with, as they are "rotten"... Russians tries to portray themselves as pure knights doing a simple job and the ones to be "trust"... well...
8/ and don't forget Russia is also this :
(so when people says oh but Ukraine ws last in countries for bribing etc it's only because you don't have datas of countries like Russia and others like them)
Also while Western systems are working quite well (even if not enough)
russians are having some melt down
12/ it would be "funny" right now to see if they still smiles... right?!
14/ by the way if some have missed it... yeah Russia had indeed some newspaper ready for the "glory day" after 3 days of war...
15/ Recently i've been sent some videos of "experts" on youtube and advice from twitter "strategist" about how "RIDICULE" the Himars would have as an effect on Ru operations ! also mainstream tv
but After Ukr received HIMARS, the N° of Ru artillery fire decreased drastically
US assesses #Ukraine
's “taken out 100+ high-value targets"(ammo dumps etc.) in recent weeks. Ru fatalities include “1,000s” of lieutenants, captains, 100's of colonels & “many” generals. US intel estimates Ru committed nearly 85% of its army. (i talked abt it several time)
19/ British spy chief Richard Moore has said Russia is “about to run out of steam” in Ukraine, in an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
“Russians will increasingly find it difficult to supply manpower, material over the next few weeks. They will have to pause, and that will give..
20/ will give Ukrainians an opportunity to strike back," Moore, chief of MI6, said in the interview, his first outside of the UK.
well : (I talked abt my first countdown to their max peak since mid march to my friend/follower & explained all- then the plateau of the summer- etc)
21/ in the mean time, Ukr have regain good grounds to fight, and can strike ru coming in while Rushing to take some key little cities.
losses are very managable right now.
27/ interesting thread ... go back to previous tweet about radio com.
but let's be frank. that won't help them in the long run, because Ukr will receive better equipement to intercept them.
29/ and... not ending soon
31/ and the good material HELPS a LOT!
so everything should be done to give more and better whenever it's possible.
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