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Main War — Kostyantyn Mashovets: Russia's attempt to conduct an offensive on two fronts with the main mass of its reserves risks once again turning into a sea of corpses

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Kostyantyn Mashovets: Russia's attempt to conduct an offensive on two fronts with the main mass of its reserves risks once again turning into a sea of corpses

22 May, 2024
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Kostyantyn Mashovets: Russia's attempt to conduct an offensive on two fronts with the main mass of its reserves risks once again turning into a sea of corpses

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By Kostyantyn Mashovets

"First, about the current situation...

The adversary continues to focus its main efforts on the Volchansk sector of its offensive. Apparently, the command of the group of forces "North" is striving to increase efforts on this direction at any cost.

Over the past 2 days, the enemy's forward units have advanced towards the center of Volchansk and have also expanded their penetration in the direction of Ogurtsovo - Bugrovatka in the western direction. In addition, the enemy is also attempting to bypass the city from the east, acting along the Volchya River towards Tikhoye - Zybino, having advanced from the direction of the old airfield to the northeast part of the city.

With the aim of increasing efforts on this sector, the enemy's command has apparently introduced into battle at least 2 motorized infantry regiments. Presumably, one is in the area of responsibility of the 25th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, and the other is to the northeast of the city (in the area of the 138th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade).

At the moment, the majority of the enemy's 6th Combined Arms Army is operating on the Volchansk direction. Moreover, it is reinforced by a significant part of the forces from the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division and the 47th Tank Division of the 1st Tank Army.

In the vicinity of Volchansk, in addition to units from the 6th Combined Arms Army, units from the 272nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 47th Tank Division, the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, and several others are also being detected. Partially, forces and assets from the 11th Army Corps are also operating here. For example, at least one tank battalion from the 11th Tank Regiment.

However, despite the entire length of the enemy's penetration front in the Volchansk direction, from the confluence of the Volchya River into the Severny Donets to the village of Tikhoye, the enemy has still not managed to force the Volchya River. Apparently, this river is the location of the first line of defense of our troops, or even further south...

Moreover, along the Glubokoye - Lukyantsy line, towards the village of Liptsy, the enemy has also had almost no success. Even though some of its airborne assault regiment (the number is yet to be identified) have been detected in this area.

In general, in the area of operations of the 18th Motorized Rifle Division of the 11th Army Corps of the enemy, fierce close combat is taking place. It is trying to break through towards Liptsy - Slobodzhanke, acting both from the direction of the village of Glubokoye and along the northern bank of the village of Liptsy. So far, it has not been able to reach the locality of Liptsy. Apparently, assault units of the 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 11th Army Corps of the enemy have suffered significant losses in previous battles and have lost combat effectiveness to a certain extent, and now they are being replaced...

Thus, the total strength of the enemy's strike group operating in the Kharkiv operational direction has increased to approximately 40-41 thousand, with an additional 10-11 thousand concentrated in the Sumy direction.

So, at the moment, it can be confidently stated that the main forces of the 11th Army Corps of the enemy, the majority of its 6th Combined Arms Army, and a certain set of forces and assets from the 1st Tank Army are operating in the Kharkiv operational direction...

In reserve, the Group of Forces "Belgorod" and the Group of Forces "Kursk" also include at least half of the 44th Army Corps of the enemy (up to 2 motorized infantry regiments and the 1st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade).

Now, some subjective thoughts

Considering the fact that units from the composition of the enemy's airborne forces (VDV) began to be detected both on the Volchansk direction and towards the village of Liptsy, it is obvious that its command continues to "pull" forces and assets to this direction from OTHER directions... The "parachute landing" in the Russian army is traditionally used as a "fire brigade".

Moreover, as far as I understand, the enemy seeks to expand the scope of its forces' actions in the Kharkiv operational direction, which obviously entails the need to continue redeploying additional forces and assets here. Simply because this expansion needs to be filled with some troops...

In other words, this entire Russian offensive north and northeast of Kharkiv risks turning into a kind of "vacuum cleaner" for Russian reserves needed elsewhere...

Essentially, for reasons not yet clear to me, the Russian command has begun its summer campaign of 2024 with absolutely unnecessary "tension" on yet another operational direction. And it has started doing so with forces clearly insufficient for any significant operational result...

It is understandable that the adversary seeks to tie down as many forces and reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to this direction as possible. But here it has already become a kind of "hostage" to the situation...

In order to force the AFU to deploy their reserves here, it needs to advance (or at least try to), almost in a "non-stop" mode. Without this, the Ukrainian command simply won't believe in the seriousness of the intentions of the Russian command to "break through to Kharkiv" (well, let's even say, into the rear of the Ukrainian group on the Kupyansk direction)...

And for this, it is necessary to constantly throw fresh forces into this offensive. However, if you intend to launch a "real" offensive somewhere else, this becomes a certain problem... Because there may simply not be enough forces for "everything and all at once"...

Moreover, if the AFU, somehow, "do not react properly" to your offensive on the "auxiliary" direction (for example, do not transfer their main reserves there), about which you have "almost officially" announced IN ADVANCE, then what remains to be done in such a case ...?

Correct - turn the "auxiliary" offensive into the main one... Because sooner or later, there will come a moment when the "auxiliary" and the planned "main" offensives will contradict each other, primarily in terms of using the accumulated reserves and resources...

The longer the "auxiliary" offensive continues, sucking out reserves, the fewer chances for success will remain for the main one, for which these same reserves were intended.

Therefore, the Russian command will have to do one of two things at a certain point...

Either halt the "auxiliary" offensive and regroup the main part of its forces and assets to the "main" direction.

Or turn the "auxiliary" into the "main" one, adjusting its initial campaign plans and concentrating the main reserves, originally intended for another direction, on the "auxiliary" direction...

Attempting to "sit on two chairs" at once, that is, conducting an offensive SIMULTANEOUSLY on two directions with the main mass of its reserves, in this case, is simply impossible because it risks turning into another "Avdiika" with a sea of corpses.

Moreover, if they try to "break through" somewhere else while advancing on the "auxiliary" direction, their chances of "breaking through" anywhere will sharply decrease... Simply because truly COMBAT-READY reserves at the division-corps level, not to mention the army, for the Russians - are very limited. Especially since they themselves "aggravate" this situation by trying to advance everywhere at once...

Remember, to "take Avdiivka", they had to concentrate three general-purpose armies + a separate tank division on this relatively narrow strip, not counting the horde of "additional" units and formations at the level of "separate battalion", "regiment"... At the same time, they had to significantly limit the scope of offensive actions in other operational directions.

Therefore, when we try to look at the situation, somewhat detached from the Kharkiv operational direction, it becomes quite clear that the main task of the Russian command now is to conceal the direction of its true "main offensive" for the summer campaign. To achieve, in this sense, strategic and preferably - operational surprise...

For them, this becomes even more relevant because the volumes of military-technical assistance to Ukraine from our partner countries, obviously, have certain prospects for growth (albeit slowly and gradually), and accordingly - the chances of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the successful conduct of a strategic defensive operation during the 2024 campaign. , also grow.

The Russians are starting to "run out of time" - they need to create "strong positions on Ukraine" by the "control point" in the autumn of this year. By the way, all the rhetoric about "war with NATO" and "nuclear bomb" - is precisely from this script.

In fact, in my opinion... the Kremlin has already realized that a large-scale "long-term" war is not for them... Although, of course, "you can try"...

But, I think... this year's attempt will be the last of the possible ones for them. After that, if it fails... as they themselves say - "on the decline"...

The task for our state is to withstand this year..."

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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