Putin's War, Week 119.

CREDIT: mage by senivpetro on Freepik

Welcome to my review of Week 119 of Putin's War in Ukraine and Day 10 since NATO blew through another of Putin's red lines that the Foreign Policy SmartSet ™.promised us would result in World War III.


My apologies for the late update, for here we are halfway into Week 120. I have to admit that I never imagined I'd be doing this still and that some of the excitement has gone out of the project. Between trying to write on other subjects and having a life, time to write the updates has become scarce.

The big story of the week was Russia doing nothing in response to the US, France, and even Germany allowing Ukraine to use weapons made by those countries against targets in Russia. I don't know how many of Putin's "red lines" we've ignored, but what we don't seem to have done is to learn anything from them. The sequence of events never fails. The West announces a policy to help Ukraine defend itself. Vladimir Putin (and Tucker Carlson and a couple of senators I used to respect) then acts like Clevon Little, threatening to shoot the sheriff. The foreign policy establishment craps its pants. The policy goes through because, fortunately, no one listens to the chuckleheads in our foreign policy establishment. And crickets. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Coming in second place is France's Emmanuel Macron, laying down a marker by announcing he will deploy French troops to Ukrainian training centers. Russia promptly warned that French military instructors would be a "legitimate target" for the Russian military if it could break away from bombing defenseless cities.

“As for the French instructors, I think they are already on the Ukrainian territory,” Lavrov said, referring to the military instructors that France could send to train Ukrainian troops. “Regardless of their status, military officials or mercenaries represent a legitimate target for our armed forces.”

Ukraine’s top commander said last week he had signed paperwork allowing French military instructors to access Ukrainian training centers soon. But French President Emmanuel Macron said last week he would not comment on “rumors or decisions that could be made.” He said he would elaborate on France’s support during the 80th anniversary commemorations of D-Day later this week.

Macron’s office said it would not comment on Lavrov’s remarks. Also Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “instructors who train the Kyiv regime’s troops don’t have any sort of immunity, and it doesn’t matter whether they are French or not.”

There is a great deal of question about whether Russia can hit Ukrainian training centers because, so far, it hasn't. There is also the unstated assumption in Lavrov's mini-rant that France would just sit there if its instructors were targeted. I don't think that is a safe bet. I think we can be sure that Paris and Moscow will be talking behind the scenes to make damned sure that French instructors are kept safe. Regardless, we'll get to see Clevon Little back in action.

Here are some of my past updates.

Putin's War, Week 118. Ukraine Gets a Green Light From Biden and France Nearly Has 'Boots on the Ground' – RedState

Putin's War, Week 117. Jake Sullivan Under Fire, ATACMS Everywhere, and the Stalemate Continues 

Putin's War, Week 116. Russian Offensive Stalls, Ukraine Discovers Wild Weasel, and Blinken Plays Guitar

Putin's War, Week 115. ATACMS Makes a Splash and Russia Opens a New Front

For all my Ukraine War coverage, click here.

Politico-Strategic Level

Off to a Good Start

What's the Story on the Russian Economy?

In April 2023, Russia stopped publishing economic data and took the extraordinary step of classifying previously public data as state secrets.

The West’s window into the Russian economy is closing.

In recent days, authorities stopped publishing data on government debt, trade statistics and oil production. The central bank limited the volume of financial information that local banks have to publish regularly while lawmakers are working on a bill banning lenders from sharing data with foreign states. 

The growing blackout is part of an effort by the Russian authorities to protect the economy and domestic companies from further sanctions by the West following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Limited data means that Washington and Brussels will have less visibility on whether and how their sanctions are biting into the Russian economy, making it more challenging to find new targets and fine-tune future sanctions rounds.

Information is coming out that indicates the Russian economy, which is slightly smaller than New York's, is not the vast powerhouse that its fluffers want you to believe. The GDP growth in Russia is strictly Keynesian. That is, the government is printing rubles to buy military equipment and supplies, and the civilian economy is in a steep decline. (Read the whole thread.)

Increasing taxes is one way the government can act to keep inflation down, along with a business-killing official interest rate of 16%. The official inflation rate is pegged at a Bidenesque 8%, but most observers believe the real rate is in the 15-20% range.

More critical for Russia is the price of oil. Crude oil is trading for under $80 per barrel today, making Russia rely on the "we lose a little bit on every sale but we'll make up for it by volume" strategy because its income is real, but its outlays are in rubles.

Russia's other main source of income, weapons sales, is also suffering. Not only can its industrial base not sustain the Russian Army in Ukraine and continue with large-scale foreign sales, but the spare parts needed to sustain its customer base are tightening, and the reputation of Russian weapons is taking a beating. Read the whole thread.


So, no, time is not on Russia's side. It has a pissant, resource extraction-based economy. It is not getting economic support from the US, EU, and G-7 like Ukraine is (which is one of the reasons the usual suspects howl about Ukraine getting economic and financial support). Everything Putin is doing indicates he knows very well that he has a fixed window to settle this war.

For a deeper dive, check out this video.

 The Center of Gravity Shifts

I've speculated in my updates and a couple of other pieces that we are gradually seeing the emasculation...though you'd have to be "masculated" in order to be emasculated...of Jake Sullivan's grotesque strategy of bleeding out Russia and Ukraine rather than permit Ukraine to win on the battlefield. And yes, my vatniks, Ukraine is much more likely to win a military victory than Russia.

The latest edition is France's Emmanuel Macron, who announced that France would provide Ukraine with Mirage 2000-5 strike aircraft, train the flight and ground crews, and train a 4,500-man Ukrainian brigade.

“Tomorrow we will launch a new cooperation and announce the transfer of Mirage 2000-5” fighter jets to Ukraine made by French manufacturer Dassault and train their Ukrainian pilots in France, Macron told French TV.

Macron said he would offer Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when the two meet for talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday that the pilots be trained from this summer.

“You need normally between five-six months. So by the end of the year there will be pilots. The pilots will be trained in France,” he said.

He did not specify how many of the fighter jets would be delivered. Contacted by AFP, the defence ministry did not elaborate.

Macron said Ukraine was facing a “huge challenge” training soldiers as it sought to mobilise tens of thousands more troops to go to the front.

He said France would equip and train an entire brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers so they can defend themselves when they return to Ukraine from training.

Germany is reconsidering its choice to be a Renfield to Russia's Dracula. For reasons that aren't clear, much of Germany's political leadership post-reunification either grew up under communist rule or were communist sympathizers when in college and had a reflexive fealty to Moscow. That is changing. Here, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is saying that the cost of a Russian victory in Ukraine would be greater than all the support provided to Ukraine by Germany and that Germany must be ready to fight Russia by 2029. You can see the AI-dubbed translation at this link.

For the vatniks, neither Macron nor Pistorius are bloodthirsty neocons.

Germany's rhetoric is being matched by its spending.

Not only is Germany dramatically increasing the production of artillery ammunition, but it is also increasing the rate of manufacture of the combat-tested IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system.

Even German politicians are showing more intellectual heft and morality than any of Biden's appointees.

Biden is slowly making the US irrelevant to European security. We are on the edge of the "lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way," stage. As a Reagan Republican who believes that the world is a better and safer place under American leadership, it is sad to see Biden toss that way so Jake Sullivan can finish his senior class project. I have no doubt that this flight from responsibility will accelerate under a Trump Administration.

Asset Confiscation Gathers Steam


Senate Panel Votes to Sic the Repo Man on Frozen Russian Assets 

The West Will Make Russia Pay to Rebuild Ukraine and This Is How That Will Happen 

Sad Faces in the Kremlin As the House Sends Ukraine Aid Package to Almost Certain Senate Approval 

EU Will Use Frozen Russian Assets to Fund Ukraine's Defense and Russia Retaliates – RedState

Putin's War, Week 117. Jake Sullivan Under Fire, ATACMS Everywhere, and the Stalemate Continues – RedState

Putin's War, Week 118. Ukraine Gets a Green Light From Biden and France Nearly Has 'Boots on the Ground' – RedState

NATO Offers Ukraine a "Bridge" to Membership

Via DefenseNews:

NATO plans to offer Ukraine a security package when the alliance convenes its annual summit this summer in Washington, though it’s expected to stop short of accepting the nation’s long-standing request for membership amid Russia’s invasion.

In addition to unveiling the package in July, an estimated 32 countries are finalizing a series of bilateral agreements to support Ukraine ahead of the summit, with 13 finalized so far, according to Julianne Smith, the U.S. ambassador to NATO.

“Allies will be putting forward a whole package of deliverables that will serve as a bridge to their membership inside the alliance,” Smith said at a Defense Writers Group roundtable on Monday. “Part of the package will be the language we use to describe Ukraine’s membership aspirations in the declaration itself.”

“Part of it will be an institutionalization of some of the bilateral support that’s currently being provided [to] Ukraine, and tucking it under NATO command. Part of it will be working to identify new resources for our friends in Ukraine, and ensuring that we send a signal to Moscow that the NATO alliance isn’t going anywhere,” Smith added.

In diplo-speak, Ukraine is being integrated into NATO without getting the accession it wanted.

Shadow War

According to multiple sources, Ukrainian special forces are fighting against Wagner troops in Africa. I haven't done enough research on this to have an opinion about the trade-off in the value of killing Wagner troops and what seems like a diversion of combat power from the focus of operations. Read the whole thread.


Moldovan General Revealed as a Russian Agent

Via Politico:

A former senior Moldovan military officer stands accused of betraying his country by passing on sensitive information about the Eastern European nation's defenses to Russian intelligence services.

Igor Gorgan, who served as Moldova's chief of the general staff until he was dismissed by pro-EU President Maia Sandu in 2021, is alleged to have offered confidential insights into the weaponry used by the Moldovan armed forces as well as on Ukrainian supply lines running through the country.

Look for a lot more of this in the future. Many former Warsaw Pact militaries, including, in my opinion, Ukraine's, by Russian sympathizers who were trained in the USSR and recruited as agents there.

Russia Reaches Flakturm Stage

A Propaganda Self-Own

Last week, I posted about France's intent to deploy trainers to Ukraine. Naturally, Putin's propaganda machine couldn't let this opportunity go to waste. After over two years of claiming hundreds of NATO officers killed in Ukraine every couple of months, this reply was a cinch. Only it turned into a social media dragging.

The unfortunate thing is that Russia can't pay a price in credibility for producing bullsh** like this because only the dimmest bulbs believe anything Russia says.

Medvedev Threatens Nukes...It Must be a Day Ending in "Y"

Making Friends and Influencing People By Nuking Random Countries

Following up on the Medvedev threat, this happened on the popular  Evening with Vladimir Solovyov television program. The guest claims the way for Russia to end Western "demonizing and isolating Russia" is by popping a nuke.

In this episode, a former senior Russian Navy officer advocates literally destroying Poland and the Polish people.

Operational Level

There are two themes in military operations this week. First, the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv area has ended. The Russian Army continues to attack, but it is gaining little ground and losing ground to Ukrainian counterattacks in some places. I'm not at the point of calling it a failure yet; see the thread below for a contrary view.

There are reports that Russia is drawing troops from the Kherson area and deploying them to Kharkiv to make up for losses. If so, this is a sign that the Kharkiv offensive has the potential to turn into a strategic defeat, as it intended to force Ukraine to redeploy forces.

The second is that Ukraine continues to give up small amounts of territory to inflict losses on Russian forces while preserving Ukrainian strength. This is a useful short-term strategy, but at some point, you run out of land you're willing to give up.

Third, Ukraine continues to hit military installations and defense-related facilities deep in Russia. 

A Note on Maps

Once upon a time, there were lots of credible frontline maps floating around. That is no longer the case. I will rely on the maps produced by the Institute for the Study of War. They give a good overview of the situation, but, in my opinion, they are much too willing to credit random Telegram channel comments and unverified photos as evidence that lines have changed. I frequently disagree with what ISW thinks something means, so please don't tell me I didn't read their tweet. I did and disregarded it.

Russian Reserves

Russia has made a talking point of its ability to allegedly mobilize 30,000 men per month. We have no way of knowing that this is true, but that is the number everyone works with. Transferring those 30K men from individual mobiks to combat power is a point of friction. This is the analysis from ISW.

The available Russian reserves, numbering 60,000 personnel, are likely insufficient to support simultaneous large-scale offensive efforts on multiple fronts. The Russian military command will probably have to choose one main action during the anticipated summer offensive, states the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Institute, citing Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets, notes that over the past 6-8 months, the occupiers have accumulated a maximum of 60,000 personnel in operational and strategic reserves.

ISW suggests that these reserves are neither properly trained nor equipped. Previously, Russia used them mainly as manpower reserves to replenish and reinforce units conducting offensive attacks.

Experts from the institute believe that Russian operational and strategic reserves are unlikely to be ready to act as first-echelon penetration forces or as second-echelon exploitation forces capable of conducting effective large-scale combined arms attacks.

"These reported limited operational- and strategic-level Russian reserves likely will be insufficient to support simultaneous large-scale offensive efforts in several directions. The Russian military command will likely have to choose one main effort during its expected summer offensive effort, if it intends for these reserves to sustain a large-scale offensive operation," the report states.

Just a point of order. If the men aren't trained and in existing units, they aren't a reserve, either operational or strategic. Operational and strategic reserves must be ready to capitalize on an opportunity or prevent a disaster at short notice. What the ISW kids are describing is a replacement pool. This jives with the verified Russian losses and the need to feed assault troops into the line to sustain pressure on Ukrainian forces. Without an operational reserve, Russia doesn't have the ability to carry out a major offensive action.


Russia Losing Its Sanctuary Shows Impact

About a week ago, Biden reversed course and allowed Ukraine to use US weapons to strike at targets inside Russia. Why this policy existed other than to show our Ivy League graduate schools produce idiots far more dangerous to the Republic than Putin is anyone's guess. Russia uses Iranian and North Korean weapons to kill Ukrainian civilians, and no one gives a flying you-know-what.

BACKGROUND: Biden Reverses Course and Permits Limited Ukrainian Strikes Inside of Russia Using American Weapons – RedState

The removal of this sanctuary zone has shown some immediate impact. HIMARS hit a Russian S-300/S-400 surface-to-air missile battery in Belgorod. These missiles have a surface-to-surface mode that lets them function as short-range ballistic missiles.

This is a Russian convoy caught by Ukrainian artillery.

Another immediate effect was an increase in the destruction of Russian air defense systems.

As this thread points out, Belgorod was a safe area to train inexperienced Russian SAM crewmen. To facilitate control and training, the systems were not dispersed. This made them a perfect target when their operational environment changed.

Read more on this issue here.

Su-57 Airbase Hit

An airbase for Russia's top-of-the-line Su-57, an alleged fifth-generation stealth technology fighter, has come under Ukrainian drone attack. The base at Akhtrubinsk in the Astrakhan region is 365 miles from the front lines. A Ukrainian drone attack damaged one and possibly two Su-57 fighters parked on the runway. I use the term "damaged" advisedly because it doesn't take a lot of damage to make a modern fighter not economically repairable.

The real story is that the airbase seemed to be undefended by anti-drone or anti-aircraft systems.

Virtual Attrition

Prepare to see this taking place in Russian artillery next. Not only is Russia suffering gun losses due to counterbattery fire, but it is also wearing out gun tubes. Satellite images from Russian storage depots show Russia's pre-war stock of artillery has mainly been used up, including guns stripped of their barrels for replacements. 

Ukraine Launches Investigation of Kharkiv Offensive

Even though Ukraine was well aware of Russia's impending invasion of the Kharkiv region from Russia's Belgorod Oblast, the attack seemed to take frontier troops by surprise. Ukriane's federal police force, the SBI, which specializes in official corruption, has launched a major investigation into the reasons behind the failure.

The SBI launched the formal investigation on May 10, following a rapid advance by Russian forces attributed to the alleged abandonment of positions by the 125th Territorial Defense Brigade near several villages. This retreat forced the second echelon of defense to engage, resulting in significant Ukrainian losses in personnel and equipment.

Preliminary findings suggest a "negligent attitude towards military service" by the command of the 125th Brigade and its subordinate units, including failures in organizing defense effectively.

President Vladimir Zelensky dismissed Territorial Defense Forces commander Brigadier General Yuriy Halushkin about the time this investigation kicked off. As I noted in my update, this is the second time Halushkin has been relieved of command under similar circumstances.

BACKGROUND: Putin's War, Week 116. Russian Offensive Stalls, Ukraine Discovers Wild Weasel, and Blinken Plays Guitar – RedState

Kiev's Deputy Mayor Under Investigation

The SBI raided the office and home of deputy Kiev mayor Kostyantyn Usov in a public transportation kickback scheme.

Even though it won't make any difference to the "Ukraine is the most corrupt country in the world" vatniks, the fact remains that Ukraine is making huge strides in cleaning up the endemic post-Soviet corruption. Sufficient progress has been made that Ukraine has been given the green light for European Union accession talks, which require evaluations in three areas:

  • political criteria: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;
  • economic criteria: a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces;
  • administrative and institutional capacity to effectively implement the acquis* and ability to take on the obligations of membership.

BACKGROUND: Putin's War, Week 118. Ukraine Gets a Green Light From Biden and France Nearly Has 'Boots on the Ground' – RedState

Quisling Former Mayor Survives Assassination Attempt

Ukrainian intelligence narrowly missed killing the former mayor of Kupyansk, Hennadii Matsehora, near his home in Russia. He was evacuated to a hospital in Moscow in critical condition.

Prisoners of War

While Ukrainian prisoner-of-war camps are open to no-notice inspections by international bodies, Russia's camps are closed. Here are a couple of before-and-after images of Ukrainian prisoners released in last week's prisoner exchange. Barbarity seems to be a core Russian cultural value.


War of Annihilation

There is no other way of saying this but that Russia is engaged in a war of annihilation in Ukraine. Not only are children kidnapped and trafficked and adults forcibly deported, but Ukrainian infrastructure and cultural sites are targeted for destruction.

Ukrainian Power Grid Under Pressure

While Biden's "brain trust" was depriving Ukraine of air defense systems and preventing it from striking targets in Russia, Russia was happily using Iranian weapons to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Read the whole thread. I don't necessarily subscribe to all of it, but it is a useful snapshot of the situation and the impact of Jake Sullivan and Mike Johnson's failure to act.

Failed Attack at Vovchansk

This attack took place in the contested city of Vovchansk northeast of Kharkiv.

Failed Attack at Solodke

Solodke is a village in the Avdiivka area of operations. This is a Russian platoon-sized armor attack.

Close Encounter of the Worst Kind

A Russian assault group is ambushed outside of Starytsia in the Kharkiv area of operations. They are pinned down, and then, to paraphrase Kipling, "And the drones come out to cut up what remains." BTW, I don't choose the soundtracks for these videos, so don't hate me.

You Asked For It; You Got It


Black Sea Fleet Leaves Novorossiysk

Russia's Black Sea Fleet was driven from its homeport in Sevastopol in Occupied Crimea by Ukrainian missile and drone attacks to the port of Noovorossiysk. Now, that port has become inhospitable. Over the last month, Ukraine has mounted numerous attacks on that port.


Putin's War, Week 118. Ukraine Gets a Green Light From Biden and France Nearly Has 'Boots on the Ground' – RedState

Putin's War, Week 117. Jake Sullivan Under Fire, ATACMS Everywhere, and the Stalemate Continues 

Putin's War, Week 116. Russian Offensive Stalls, Ukraine Discovers Wild Weasel, and Blinken Plays Guitar

On Wednesday, satellite imagery picked up a mass movement of Russian ships out of port into the harbor, relocating at least ten warships to the Sea of Azov.

Dispersion seems to be at least part of the reason for the movement. 

What is clear is that Russia is NOT planning an amphibious assault on Odesa because its landing ships have been sunk or disabled in previous attacks.

New Weapons

France Releases Mirage 2000-5 Fighters to Ukraine

While we're watching Jake Sullivan and his merry band of midwits slow roll the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine, France may very well have its aircraft in service first.


This is a detailed thread on what the transfer means. The TL:DR version is that the Mirage can use all the NATO weaponry available without time-consuming engineering to make it compatible with Russian airframes. The Mirage is also at least as capable as any Russian fighter in Ukraine. France guarantees it can train pilots in six months.

Combat Operations

Last Russian Missile Capable Ship in the Black Sea Sunk

On May 19, Ukraine launched an attack on the remaining Russian ships at Sevastopol. Initially, the Ukrainians only claimed the destruction of a minesweeper. Now, Russian sources are admitting the loss of a Project 22800 Karakurt-class guided missile corvette. What makes it more interesting is that the attack used ATACMS missiles.

On May 19, 2024, Russian military bloggers confirmed that the latest strike conducted by Ukrainian forces led to the sinking of the Project 22800 Karakurt class "Tsiklon" missile corvette in the port of Sevastopol. Ukrainian spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk stated on television that the attack, which involved two US-provided ATACMS missiles, could signify the loss of the last Russian cruise missile carrier in Crimea.


Survivability Breeds Courage

When troops have confidence in their equipment, they are inclined to take risks they might ordinarily avoid. This is particularly true when considering crew survivability in vehicles. We've seen Bradley crews take enormous risks because they have confidence in that vehicle to accomplish the mission and keep them alive. This is a MaxxPro crew operating near Chasiv Yar. Watch as they move supplies to the front lines and return with wounded comrades.

Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

...But You Can't Hide

A Ukrainian FPV drone takes out a Russian observation post.

Photo ID is Important

A wounded Ukrainian soldier is saved by convincing a Ukrainian drone he's on its side. The Ukrainians sending out a Bradley to recover the wounded soldier is a great example of the difference between the Ukrainians and the Russians, who leave their wounded where they drop.

Drone Defense

Both sides will have to make this kind of adaptation until effective anti-drone systems are available.

Here is a Czech-made 9K35 Strela missile system shooting down a Russian SuperCam reconnaissance drone—two thoughts on this video. First, unless ground forces create an absolute cordon sanitaire above their operational areas, they can't mass, move, or shoot without attack from FPV drones or by artillery fire directed from recon drones. Second, you can't do that with a missile-based system; the economics of using a missile costing a few hundred thousand dollars to knock down a multi-hundred dollar drone just don't work.

North By Northwest...Ukraine War Version

In Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller North by Northwest, Cary Grant's character is chased across the plains by a biplane.

 This is what the scene looks like in Ukraine.

Student Driver

This is one of those essential elements of discipline that are violated over and over in this war by both sides, but mainly by the Russians. When you move an armored vehicle in an assembly area, you have a ground guide. That is, you have a crewmember walking on foot in advance of the vehicle to ensure no one is asleep on the ground. If you don't do it, you have a situation like this Russian MT-LB that runs over a half-dozen sleeping infantrymen.

Not Steve McQueen

This is a fairly long clip that shows a single Russian motorcycle team making an assault on Ukrainian positions. The attack's location is unclear, but based on other Russian motorcycle videos, it is probably in the Avdiivka area.

Notice the number of burned-out vehicles in the video, so this attack takes place over well-trodden territory. At 0:24, the motorcycle team dismounts behind a disabled MT-LB and comes under fire. The men notice a Ukrainian drone overhead at 0:59 and begin blazing away. For reasons that are immediately clear, one of the men uncorks a grenade at 1:10 and throws it at the wrecked vehicle roughly six feet away. It explodes but doesn't seem to have done any damage to the men. By 1:35, the dismounted cyclists are under attack by mortar or grenade launchers. Our heroes take cover inside the abandoned track. A drone appears at 2:34 and deposits an anti-tank mine with what seems to be a time fuze on the roof of the MT-LB. As it pulls away, you can see a second abandoned motorcycle in the same place. The mine explodes at 2:58. Flames from an internal fire are visible at 3:18. Around 4:09, the surviving soldier un-asses the MT-LB with his uniform on fire. Noticeably, the uniform material is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish. That is a sub-optimal combination for combat wear. For the next two minutes, the survivor struggles to perfect his "stop, drop, and roll" technique.

As Russia runs out of armored vehicles, it is relying on motorcycles and Chinese-made Desertcross 1000-3 all-terrain vehicles to cross the dead ground.

These vehicles do not demonstrate any tactical advantage. They may even be a detriment to success because they deprive the riders of situational awareness in exchange for a) restricting movement to vehicle-friendly avenues of approach and b) making a lot of noise. They could, however, have a positive morale factor on assault units, who could be convinced that the speed reduces their vulnerability.

Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em

In a war that has produced many strange videos, this may be among the most bizarre. An American-made Bradley IFV (left) faces off with a Russian BTR in a duel to the death.


A Russian tank approaches a scissors bridge at high speed and discovers the bridge is impassable. The tank driver is not deterred.


"Your Message Here"

That's what the sign reads on this FPV drone.

Northern Front



The situation remains unchanged.



Since the Kharkiv offensive ground to a halt a couple of weeks ago, the Russians have resumed hammering away at Chasiv Yar. As the ISW map shows, the Russians have registered small gains, and there is no sign that the defense is in danger of being forced to retreat.


This area continues to be the focal point of Russian efforts. Small gains were made, but the front line seems stable. 

Southern Front


Robotyne-Verbove- Novoprokopivka

The lines remain stable.



The lines remain stable.

Rear Areas


Attack on Harbor at Lake Panske

Ukrainian USWs breached a defensive harbor boom and sank a Project 498-class harbor tug. Once again, proving the futility of obstacles not covered by direct observation and fires.


Kursk Oblast

A Ukrainian drone strikes a Russian electric locomotive. 

Mozdok Airbase, North Ossetia-Alania

Mozdok Airbase is in the Russian republic of North Ossetia-Alania on the border with Georgia. It is the home to MiG-31 and, more significantly, Tu-22 strategic bombers. It was hit by a Ukrainian drone attack Friday night. There is no word on the level of damage.

Novoshakhtinsk Oil Refinery, Rostov

Fuel Depot, Belgorod

Ammunition Depot, Belgorod

What's Next

The decision by the US and other Western nations to step up ammunition supplies to Ukraine and allow Ukraine to use those weapons inside Russia has had a major effect. The horse is pretty much out of the barn now, and it will be difficult for anyone to hold a line, placing all of Russia except Belgorod off limits. The aggressiveness with which the Ukrainians used the new authority was also impressive. There is a hint that the West is coming around to the view that unless Putin is visibly beaten in Ukraine, this war doesn't stop.

For the time being, the Russians aren't able to launch a major offensive and the Ukrainians have learned a hard lesson about being hurried into one. I still think the Ukrainians launch a large-scale but limited offensive in mid- to late-summer to change the strategic situation and demonstrate they can win if properly equipped. 


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