Blyatskrieg

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bjn
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:03 am

Anders Puck Nelson has a short video out on the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Dnipro. It’s given the Russians a dilemma, either cede ground and pull back to better defensive positions, or to commit scarce resources to push them back across the river. There is good reason to think that the Russians are seriously considering ceding ground. Either way it’s a headache for them. He says it could be very significant, but expects nothing major from the Ukrainians until early next year.


https://youtu.be/qhON52gz6Bk?feature=shared

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 17, 2023 9:01 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:03 am
Anders Puck Nelson has a short video out on the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Dnipro. It’s given the Russians a dilemma, either cede ground and pull back to better defensive positions, or to commit scarce resources to push them back across the river. There is good reason to think that the Russians are seriously considering ceding ground. Either way it’s a headache for them. He says it could be very significant, but expects nothing major from the Ukrainians until early next year.


https://youtu.be/qhON52gz6Bk?feature=shared
Yes, Ukraine has slowly been taking more of the left bank.

But they have advanced along the riverside rather that go much further inland. That makes sense as mentioned in the video they can be supported by artillery based on the other bank. The further Ukraine advances from the river the harder that will be.

To make an offensive across the river and take significant territory inland they’d need lots of armoured vehicles and later artillery. Those need large amounts of supplies (fuel, ammunition etc). Similarly, special forces can exist with a light footprint. But a mass of troops needed to take territory will need a lot of supplies. At the moment the Ukrainians are able to cross the river using small boats and apparently light amphibious IFVs.

To make a serious offensive Ukraine needs to transport heavy cargo. That would require a bridge or much larger boats or ships and some means to unload them. The problem there is that most of the left bank is boggy so they can’t just drive a tank ashore from a landing craft even if they had one (which as far as I know they don’t).

However, in an era of ubiquitous drone surveillance any rapidly made bridge or ship is going to be destroyed very soon after it’s spotted. A bridge is a sitting target. A ship is a big slow moving target which is stationary when it’s unloading.

Perhaps there might be thick enough ice in the winter. I haven’t looked into it. But it would need to be really thick if it’s to hold the weight of a tank or a fully laden truck. Russia can also attack the ice with artillery.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by dyqik » Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:02 pm

Taking more riverbank means that Ukraine can more easily feint to distract artillery, or attempt a crossing en masse at multiple locations to overwhelm Russian C&C.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:19 pm

Ukrainians have a range of motorised pontoon bridging equipment, military ferrying thingies that can take multiple tanks as well as RIBs, other boats and helicopters. The Dnipro isn’t the Channel, so the they can shuttle back and forth multiple times in an hour. You could sustain quite a logistical flow with that. However, to do that they would need the Russians driven a long way back, well out of artillery range at a minimum. The Russians MoD stated that they were considering “withdrawing to a more strategic position” (or something like that), before retracting the statement. So they are thinking about it. Nelson is positing that the logical place for the Russians to withdraw to and fortify is to a line of hills many miles back from the river, that would allow the Ukranians space to get gear over and establish a decent sized force. Whether that happens or not, who knows, but if they Ukrainians do attempt it, it will be very risky, but very significant if they can pull it off. Either way, the troops and armoury they currently have over the Dnipro is a sufficient distraction that they are keeping the Russians from being complacent and ties up troops they could use elsewhere.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Martin Y » Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:53 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:19 pm
However, to do that they would need the Russians driven a long way back, well out of artillery range at a minimum.
The problem is their left bank beachhead is currently supported by their own artillery from the right bank, and to push the Russians guns away out of range means advancing beyond their own fire support.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 17, 2023 4:09 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:53 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:19 pm
However, to do that they would need the Russians driven a long way back, well out of artillery range at a minimum.
The problem is their left bank beachhead is currently supported by their own artillery from the right bank, and to push the Russians guns away out of range means advancing beyond their own fire support.
Yes, indeed. And added to that the left bank currently controlled by Ukrainian troops is boggy. That's ok for lightly armed troops or amphibious vehicles. But trucks would have nowhere to drive. There are only two roads out which would make easy targets for artillery. Maybe ice will help, maybe not.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:33 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:53 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:19 pm
However, to do that they would need the Russians driven a long way back, well out of artillery range at a minimum.
The problem is their left bank beachhead is currently supported by their own artillery from the right bank, and to push the Russians guns away out of range means advancing beyond their own fire support.
Ukrainian tube artillery out ranges Russian tube artillery, and the Ukrainians would bring artillery with them across the river should they cross in force. The M777* 155mm gun they have is light and designed to be highly mobile. HIMARS can happily sit on the left bank and lob GMLRS rockets up to 90km away.

*Which I just discovered is British designed and made in Barrrow.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Nov 21, 2023 9:49 am

Grim reading
Every day, groups of Russian infantry attack the tree lines and pockmarked fields east of this village, which block their push to surround the city of Avdiivka. Every day, Ukrainian troops cut most of them down.

But more Russians keep coming. Depleted Ukrainian units can’t shoot them all.

“Step by step, they take our positions,” said Lt. Oleksandr Shyrshyn, deputy commander of an understrength battalion of Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade that is defending a kilometer-long stretch of the front.

The Russian army is accepting heavy casualties as the price of inching forward. For weeks it has thrown tens of thousands of troops at Avdiivka, a shell-scarred industrial city in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. Russia’s effort to encircle the town has become this fall’s biggest battle in President Vladimir Putin’s war to subjugate Ukraine.

[…]

Russia’s first attacks on Avdiivka in October failed. Columns of tanks and armored troop carriers fell prey to mines, drones and artillery. The Russians changed tactics, sending waves of infantry forward in small groups. The shift echoed Ukraine’s own switch to foot tactics in its summer offensive after losing too many armored vehicles.

Both armies are struggling to maneuver on open, mined terrain beneath skies buzzing with drones.

[…]

Russia’s massive losses in the nearly two-year war have left its ground forces reliant on old vehicles and poorly trained conscripts, limiting its offensive potential, for now, to grinding assaults on small cities. Russia lost tens of thousands of men in the 10-month battle for Bakhmut, its last notable victory.

[…]

Meanwhile, Ukraine is struggling to replace its infantry losses in the summer counteroffensive and the costly defense of Bakhmut. Ukrainian casualty numbers are a tightly kept secret, but fresh graves and full hospitals around the country testify to the heavy toll.

Ukrainian front-line units are commonly 20% to 40% below full strength, said Ihor Romanenko, a military analyst and retired Ukrainian lieutenant general. “Because of the shortage of infantry, those remaining are tired,” he said. There is little scope for rest or rotation.

Avdiivka has long been a thorn in the side of Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. The fortified town forms a salient north of Donetsk city, limiting Russian control of the region. Ukrainian troops have held off Russian attacks here since 2014, when Moscow launched a covert invasion of Ukraine’s east. Only around 1,400 residents remain in Avdiivka, once home to more than 30,000.

Russian troops have surrounded Avdiivka on three sides and have taken the only high ground in the area, a broad slag heap to the northeast, using it to keep Ukrainian armor at bay with antitank missiles. Waves of Russian infantry are trying to assault Avdiivka’s sprawling coke plant and have entered the city’s southeastern outskirts.

[…]

“We’re still motivated, but we’re exhausted,” said Pvt. Oleksandr Siergeichikov, who has been defending Avdiivka since the spring of 2022 with Ukraine’s 110th Mechanized Brigade. He described how Russian infantry took the slag heap by crawling over the bodies of their comrades until the Ukrainian defenders ran out of firepower.

[…]

The attacking Russian infantry are mostly poorly trained, often bunching up and making easy targets, say Ukrainian soldiers fighting here.

“They come like zombies. Some wear headlamps—a happy moment for any machine-gunner,” said Pvt. Bohdan Lysenko, who mans the 25 mm automatic cannon on a U.S.-made Bradley Fighting Vehicle with the 47th Brigade.

Drone images show fields littered with the bodies of Russian infantry hit by artillery, including U.S.-supplied cluster munitions. But the Russians keep coming.

“They’re not stupid. It’s a strategy,” said Cpl. Mykhailo Kotsyurba, a Bradley commander in the same company as Lysenko. “They look for weak points, then go there. We don’t have enough ammunition, but they have enough people.”

Some Russians give themselves up rather than continue with near-suicidal assaults. They often say they walked into Ukrainian positions by accident. Voluntary surrender is a crime in Russia.

“Our commanders, despite the circumstances, are given orders to take positions that are impossible to hold. That’s why we have such losses among the ordinary soldiers,” said Andrei Bednyaev, an infantryman from Russia’s 114th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. “They treat us as waste material.”
Bednyaev, who volunteered to speak to The Wall Street Journal in a makeshift Ukrainian holding facility, said he was captured while disoriented after an exploding drone blasted a brick wall at him.
https://www.wsj.com/world/tired-ukraini ... s-9b4a31a1

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:48 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:33 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:53 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:19 pm
However, to do that they would need the Russians driven a long way back, well out of artillery range at a minimum.
The problem is their left bank beachhead is currently supported by their own artillery from the right bank, and to push the Russians guns away out of range means advancing beyond their own fire support.
Ukrainian tube artillery out ranges Russian tube artillery, and the Ukrainians would bring artillery with them across the river should they cross in force. The M777* 155mm gun they have is light and designed to be highly mobile. HIMARS can happily sit on the left bank and lob GMLRS rockets up to 90km away.

*Which I just discovered is British designed and made in Barrrow.
That’s artillery. Fire support is being provided across the front by a range of heavy machine guns (eg mounted on HMMVWs), 20 and 30mm cannon mounted on IFVs, mortars, and tanks firing HE shells. In the event of an offensive they would need to be transported over the river. That’s the easy bit. A significant force is going to need tonnes of ammunition and fuel per day.

Russia withdrew from Kherson city because it couldn’t supply the troops stationed there. The same problems would affect Ukraine if it tried a breakthrough across the river.

The initial incursion on the left bank was over a month ago. Why hasn’t Ukraine advanced beyond the boggy area along the riverbank? Perhaps they also believe that there would be too many problems.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:52 pm

The Biden administration is working with Congress to try and thrash out a broader funding deal that would include additional support for Ukraine.

However, weapons supplies are under additional pressure from the war in the Middle East.

Just ahead of Austin’s trip, a Ukrainian official told ABC News that U.S. deliveries of NATO-standard artillery shells to Ukraine have fallen "by more than 30%" since Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza began last month.

155mm artillery shells are arguably the most important munition for Ukraine in its fight against invading Russian forces, and some U.S. stocks, which were designated for Ukrainian forces, have been diverted to Israel.

U.S. officials have claimed, on several occasions in recent weeks, that the supply of munitions to Israel would have no impact on the war in Ukraine.

"They (U.S. officials) were telling us it wouldn’t influence the commitments (from the U.S.), but it did," a Ukrainian official said.

The official, who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter, said supplies of these vital artillery shells make up "about 60-70% of Ukraine’s overall supply."

A senior U.S. defense official, however, said the reduction in munitions has "absolutely nothing to do with what's happening in Gaza." Presidential drawdown authority packages "start to get put together weeks in advance, so there is no link between what's happening in Gaza to what’s happening in Ukraine," the official said.
https://abcnews.go.com/International/pe ... =105027529

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:03 pm

Ukraine's need for munitions is greater than Israel's... Ukraine's use of munitions (attriting Russian forces) benefits the US more than Israel's.

I really hope the US isn't taking it's eye off the ball...
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:09 am

TopBadger wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:03 pm
Ukraine's need for munitions is greater than Israel's...
Yes, not least because Israel has a potent defence industry allowing them to be a lot more self sufficient.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Allo V Psycho » Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:36 am

Abrams M1A1 tanks perhaps on their way to the front line
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2 ... 74347e5f31

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:43 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:48 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:33 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:53 pm


The problem is their left bank beachhead is currently supported by their own artillery from the right bank, and to push the Russians guns away out of range means advancing beyond their own fire support.
Ukrainian tube artillery out ranges Russian tube artillery, and the Ukrainians would bring artillery with them across the river should they cross in force. The M777* 155mm gun they have is light and designed to be highly mobile. HIMARS can happily sit on the left bank and lob GMLRS rockets up to 90km away.

*Which I just discovered is British designed and made in Barrrow.
That’s artillery. Fire support is being provided across the front by a range of heavy machine guns (eg mounted on HMMVWs), 20 and 30mm cannon mounted on IFVs, mortars, and tanks firing HE shells. In the event of an offensive they would need to be transported over the river. That’s the easy bit. A significant force is going to need tonnes of ammunition and fuel per day.

Russia withdrew from Kherson city because it couldn’t supply the troops stationed there. The same problems would affect Ukraine if it tried a breakthrough across the river.

The initial incursion on the left bank was over a month ago. Why hasn’t Ukraine advanced beyond the boggy area along the riverbank? Perhaps they also believe that there would be too many problems.
Not the best time of year for a breakthrough. Even if one were managed in the comparatively dry south, there's little threat of fast movement on other, muddier fronts to pin down Russian forces. Right now it's about attrition, but putting a small force on the left bank of the Dnipro in that area forces the Russians to fight, and that drags them back into range, something they'd otherwise been avoiding. This is particularly significant with the deployment of HIMARS and 52-Calibre 155mm guns that accurately outrange Russian artillery, and on top of this a noted veteran drone unit - "Magyar's Birds" - are operating FPV attack drones in the area too. It appears that attrition rates favour Ukraine in this area, and they'll want to maximise this over the winter.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 04, 2023 5:43 pm

A Ukrainian soldier stationed on the left bank sent the following to the BBC:
"The entire river crossing is under constant fire. I've seen boats with my comrades on board just disappear into the water after being hit, lost forever to the Dnipro river.

"We must carry everything with us - generators, fuel and food. When you're setting up a bridgehead you need a lot of everything, but supplies weren't planned for this area.
"We thought after we made it there the enemy would flee and then we could calmly transport everything we needed, but it didn't turn out that way.

"When we arrived on the [eastern] bank, the enemy were waiting. Russians we managed to capture said their forces were tipped off about our landing so when we got there, they knew exactly where to find us. They threw everything at us - artillery, mortars and flame thrower systems. I thought I'd never get out."

[…]

"Every day we sat in the forest taking incoming fire. We were trapped - the roads and paths are all riddled with mines. The Russians cannot control everything, and we use it. But their drones are constantly buzzing in the air, ready to strike as soon as they see movement.

"Supplies were the weakest link. The Russians monitored our supply lines, so it became more difficult - there was a real lack of drinking water, despite our deliveries by boat and drone.

"We paid for a lot of our own kit - buying generators, power banks and warm clothes ourselves. Now the frosts are coming, things will only get worse - the real situation is being hushed up, so no-one will change anything.
"No-one knows the goals. Many believe that the command simply abandoned us. The guys believe that our presence had more political than military significance. But we just did our job and didn't get into strategy."

[…]

"Mostly our losses were mistakes - someone didn't climb in that trench quickly enough; another guy hid badly. If someone isn't switched on, he'll be immediately targeted from everywhere.

"But thanks to our doctors, if we can get an injured soldier to the medics - he'll be saved. They're titans, Gods. But we can't get the remains of the fallen out. It's just too dangerous.

"At the same time our drones and missiles inflict a lot of losses on the enemy. We took prisoners of war once, but where to put them, if we have no way to cross the river even with our own injured comrades?"

[…]

"Several brigades were supposed to be posted here, not individual companies - we just don't have enough men.
"There are a lot of young guys among us. We need people, but trained people, not the green ones we have there now. There are guys who had spent just three weeks in training, and only managed to shoot a few times.

"It's a total nightmare. A year ago, I wouldn't have said that, but now, sorry, I'm fed up.

"Everyone who wanted to volunteer for war came a long time ago - it's too hard now to tempt people with money. Now we're getting those who didn't manage to escape the draft. You'll laugh at this, but some of our marines can't even swim."

[…]

"I got out after getting concussed from a mine, but one of my colleagues didn't make it - all that was left of him was his helmet.

"I feel like I escaped from hell, but the guys who replaced us last time got into even more hell than us.

"But the next rotation is due. My time to cross the river again is soon."
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-67565508

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Dec 12, 2023 7:17 pm

Apparently the Russians are now forming assault units of officers... where the main criteria for officers to be recruited to such assault units are their inability to command subordinates, personal indiscipline, and poor motivation.

https://newsukraine.rbc.ua/news/russian ... 68688.html
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:32 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2023 7:17 pm
Apparently the Russians are now forming assault units of officers... where the main criteria for officers to be recruited to such assault units are their inability to command subordinates, personal indiscipline, and poor motivation.

https://newsukraine.rbc.ua/news/russian ... 68688.html
We've all had managers whom we'd like to see assigned to an assault battalion... although to be fair, the next two stories on that web page are I also note that the next two stories on the same web page are about horoscopes and "superfood flax seed", so I think I'll wait for confirmation from Reuters or CNN or the BBC.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Dec 13, 2023 5:52 am


Russia has up to seven times more FPV drones than Ukraine and has become adept at repurposing civilian drones for military use, according to Ukrainian army commander Yuriy Fedorenko in an interview with Suspilne public broadcaster on December 12.

"In priority frontline sectors, we have the following ratio: one of our drones to five or seven enemy drones,”

“The enemy has the privilege to work consistently. It flies FPV drones into our operational space and searches for a target to hit. We are not working that way at the moment. We work exclusively when we have a target."

Drones play a crucial role in Russian reconnaissance operations, Fedorenko

"The enemy has also been using civilian drones for more than half a year,” Fedorenko stated.

“In particular, DJI products: Mavic-3, Mavic-3T—Chinese teleoperated compact quadcopter drones— are used at night using the same tactics as the Ukrainian Defense Forces; reconnaissance of the front line and bringing ammunition to forward positions."
https://english.nv.ua/nation/one-ukrain ... 75721.html

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Wed Dec 13, 2023 1:47 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:32 pm
I think I'll wait for confirmation from Reuters or CNN or the BBC.
Yes - agreed. First casualty of war is truth and all that.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Dec 22, 2023 11:34 am

Ukraine is claiming to have shot down three Su-34s. As yet no evidence has been provided, but worth keeping an eye out. Could be another SAM ambush.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Dec 22, 2023 12:07 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 11:34 am
Ukraine is claiming to have shot down three Su-34s. As yet no evidence has been provided, but worth keeping an eye out. Could be another SAM ambush.
Russian Telegram channels are confirming losses. Fighterbomber is generally reliable at acknowledging losses and has acknowledged the loss of one plane, other Russian channels are saying it was more than one.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Dec 22, 2023 12:35 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 12:07 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 11:34 am
Ukraine is claiming to have shot down three Su-34s. As yet no evidence has been provided, but worth keeping an eye out. Could be another SAM ambush.
Russian Telegram channels are confirming losses. Fighterbomber is generally reliable at acknowledging losses and has acknowledged the loss of one plane, other Russian channels are saying it was more than one.
And now Fighterbomber's acknowleding greater losses too, and we've got pictures of a parachute, so it looks like one pilot at least ejected, though whether or not they survived is another matter. Fighterbomber's post mentions "Patriot" - I didn't bother transcribing and translating the Russian, but my guess would be they think it was Patriot, which ultimately turned out to be the cause of the Bryansk mass-shootdown.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Imrael » Fri Dec 22, 2023 2:07 pm

Casual wikki suggests they'd have been doing tactical air support? Maybe a knock-on effect of driving the attack helicopters back?

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Dec 22, 2023 3:00 pm

Imrael wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 2:07 pm
Casual wikki suggests they'd have been doing tactical air support? Maybe a knock-on effect of driving the attack helicopters back?
It certainly could be. Also reportedly it was in the Krynky area; the Ukrainian presence on the left bank of the Dnipro forces the Russians to engage and become targets. There have also been several TOS-1 thermobaric MLRS destroyed in the same area. Right now Ukraine is pursuing a purely attritional strategy, while Russia has been foolish enough to attack during the bezdorizhzhia, losing vast quantities of men and materiel in the vicinity of Avdiivka.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Fri Dec 22, 2023 6:21 pm

The Dutch PM today promised 18 F-16s to Ukraine.

https://nitter.net/MinPres/status/1738176812713210363

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