Ukraine IX: Oh HI, MARS
- Severodonetsk fell slowly as expected, but then Lysychansk fell quickly because Russian troops surrounded it, and Ukrainian troops had to retreat rather than be destroyed. It’s possible the Ukrainians were out-gamed by Russian mid-level commanders.
- So far, Russians have not been able to break out of Donetsk city -- that part of the original Feb 24 defense line is holding
- Russia appears to have deployed nearly 100% of its conventional combat capabilities to Ukraine, and is still getting clobbered.
- Russia is trying to recruit “volunteer” regiments to deploy in Ukraine to relieve Russian troops -- they will be low quality, and so their use would be to hang tight in certain areas and try to pin down Ukrainian units. Not useless, but not super useful.
- Once again we have returned to slow movement along the front lines now that Severodonetsk and Lysychansk fell.
- Ukrainians fell back to the 2nd of 3 highly defensible urban areas in Donetsk oblast, with Siversk and Bakhmut the big towns there. Bakhmut is under a lot of pressure; Russians are trying to surround it, but so far to no avail.
- Russians attempting to attack directly on those two towns, but also continuing to try the end-around from Izium toward Sloviansk to try to create a pocket that can be cut off. So far it’s really not working. It looks like Russia might be deprioritizing that angle as of July 31.
- WHAT IS HIMARS? WHY DOES IT MATTER?
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