Every day, Ukraine releases a list of claimed Russian kills. Recently, we’ve marvelled at the large number of claimed artillery kills, seemingly confirmed by a large number of drone videos of targeted Russian artillery guns and by Russian sources themselves, lamenting the “artillery genocide” they face.
But the latest update was so ridiculous, it seemed way to good to be true:
There was no way that Ukraine actually destroyed 125 armored vehicles (plus artillery), could it be? Had Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense succumbed to the same unrealistic propaganda claims that we see daily from the Russian side?
And then the videos began to emerge.
Over the past two weeks, Russian forces launched two massive attacks in the east. One attack was directed toward Avdiivka, on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk in an area where Russia has been unable to meaningfully move the front line since 2014, despite really really trying. The other attack happened outside of Kreminna.
Given Russia’s efforts to use the war in Israel to its own dastardly benefit, perhaps they wanted to couple their propaganda efforts with a tangible victory on the ground. Instead, given the videos that are now emerging, we are seeing the worst Russian disaster since the Battle of Vuhledar, when Russia lost over 100 pieces of armor over several months of fruitless charges over open, mined terrain.
Yesterday, Ukrainian open-source intelligence outlet Deep State reported on Telegram on the Russian operation:
Today was one of the most difficult days at the Avdiivka direction
The enemy went on the attack with several columns, filled with infantry. The attack was accompanied by artillery, aviation and missile strikes. Columns advanced from Krasnohorivka, Novoselivka Druha, Vodyane, Pisky and Vesele. Russians managed to capture certain positions, but considering the number of personnel and equipment that was involved, the results are simply deplorable for the enemy.
Russians hoped for a blitzkrieg. Losses of equipment are colossal, analysts will soon be counting. Hundreds of Russian infantrymen were engaged and they are still roaming the no man's land. The fighting continues. Indeed, everything could have been much worse, but the coordinated work of the Defense Forces of Ukraine produced results. Of course, it was not without losses.
The emerging video evidence backs up this assessment. This video shows over two dozen armored vehicles approaching down a road as they begin to take incoming Ukrainian fire.
Another column; could be the same one. I can’t tell. Ukrainian sources claim there were three separate ones.
The lead vehicle in that column literally falls into a lake before the whole column ends up in a kill zone:
There are more photos and videos of destroyed vehicles here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, and there are likely more I’ve missed. We may not have explicit video evidence of 125 destroyed armored vehicles, but new videos are being released regularly, and the numbers are certainly significant. Ukraine’s claims no longer seem so ludicrous.
Russian Telegram war blogger Murz claimed the whole operation was designed to relieve pressure around Bakhmut, where Ukraine is slowly and methodically advancing, and reminded his readers that Russia is attempting to regain positions it lost in recent weeks. And even at that, Russia has failed.
For all the destruction, Russia did manage to retake, er, a trash dump. I’m not kidding. This is a pro-Russian source that has proven itself trustworthy:
There’s something fitting about “garbage hill” being the extent of Russia’s accomplishments on such a disastrous day for them.
Further north, around Kreminna and Lyman, Russians decided to throw away more lives and equipment:
Note, not all those destroyed vehicles are necessary from the last two days. One OSINT tally of today’s videos has verified the following (with official Ukrainian claims in parenthesis):
More videos are emerging even as I write this, so I’m really hoping that Ukraine’s claims are eventually substantiated by the visual evidence.
Ukraine’s summer offensive appears spent, with Ukraine happy to use its new artillery advantages to degrade Russian forces and defenses from afar, making small tactical advances when it is relatively safe to do so. And rather than continue its effective defense, working to freeze the conflict in place while hoping and waiting for Donald Trump to regain the White House, Russia is amping up its offensive operations, helping Ukraine better degrade its enemy’s manpower and equipment. At least one Ukrainian soldier on Telegram is happy at the turn of events.
I’m not seeing any NATO equipment sourced from Ukraine...
Interesting seeing North Korea among the sources. There is definitely a Russia-Iran-North Korea axis of evil emerging. Republicans need to understand that Ukraine’s fight is the same as Israel’s.