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Msg  501807 of 522383  at  6/5/2023 10:16:17 AM  by


 In response to msg 501757 by  xoil
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Re: Kiev renews push in Donbass Russian official

Ukraine Launches Its Counterattack

June 05, 2023

The long announced Ukrainian counter offensive has started. New Ukrainian units, never seen before, have come to the front.

The attack was launched by Ukraine for political reasons under pressure from its 'western' sponsors. Militarily it is unlikely to become successful but it will eat away at whatever is left of Ukraine's military capabilities.

Attacks happened all around the front. In the north towards Belgograd, to the east and, with the most forces, towards the south. There was so far little to no success in any of the attacks.

The daily report by the Russian Ministry of Defense list as Ukrainian losses over the last 24 hours 910 soldiers, 16 tanks, 33 armored combat vehicles/infantry fighting vehicle and some 30 trucks.

So far only the most forward positions of Russian troops have been attacked. There are two to three well organized defense lines behind those. The Russians can fall back whenever needed and let the artillery and air force destroy their oncoming enemies.

As I wrote previously about any attacks in the direction of Tokmak and Melitopol:

From the point of strategic value the chosen target is the right one. However, it is also the one where the Russian military has prepared its strongest defense lines.

Source: @Inkvisiit, Scribblemaps - bigger

In military books this is know as 'echeloned defense' with three lines of well prepared positions ten kilometer apart from each other. Each line consists of tank obstacles, mine belts, prepared anti-tank positions to monitor and counter potential breach attempts and well prepared artillery support from behind the next defense line.


To crack such a nut without air support and without significant artillery advantage is nearly impossible.

There may still come larger attacks in other directions. But how many could there be?

As a former Swedish officer notes:

June 4th UkrAF scaled up offensive operations on the Southern Front, but the losses are too high for long time success. Earlier operations were mainly reconnaissance in force with platoon and company sized combat groups. Yesterday the Ukrainian forces seemed to be battalion sized combat groups. According to Russian MoD 8 UkrAF battalions was involved in offensive operations SE of Mala Tokmachka (1), at the Vremivka salient (2) and East of Vuhledar towards Velikonovoselovka (3). The fighting was intense, but on most places Ukrainian forces was turned back, mainly by intense Russian artillery and air attacks. On some places UkrAF succeeded in capturing a couple of hundred meters.
[If the Russian numbers are true], the prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive looks very dim. This is even if we don't take into account the ongoing intense Russian air and artillery offensive against UkrAF troop concentrations, ammunition and fuel depots.

With losses of over 1000 KIA and WIA that means that a Ukrainian brigade of 4000 man loose at least 25 percent of its manpower. That's on the brink of making a brigade unusable. Two days fighting with such losses would destroy a brigade's battle capability. 24 days with such losses would in effect destroy the entire fist of 12 brigades UkrAF has gathered for the counteroffensive. With losses of around 12 brigades, 25 000 KIA/WIA, 250 tanks and 1000 IFVs/APCs all the strategic reserves UkrAF has built during the last 6 months would be gone. In exchange the Ukrainian side could have advanced maybe 10 km on some places or more generally 2-3 km along maybe half the southern front.

Once again, IF the Russian claims are true, RuAF must feel relieved and UkrAF very worried by the results of the fighting on the Southern front June 4th.


I strongly suspect that the Russian military will let the Ukrainian attacks run their course to then launch its own larger scale attacks against weakened Ukrainian defenses.

Posted by b on June 5, 2023 at 13:04 UTC | Permalink

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