The Russian-Ukrainian War Thread

STURM

Well-Known Member
Apparently a Ukrainian recon team gets spotted by a Russian UAV, and immediately gets hit by artillery.
We're seeing more and more Russian UAS footage. Is it because the Russians are finally effectively using their UASs like they did in the Donbas years ago or merely because more footage is being uploaded compared to previous months? In the past we were accustomed mainly to hearing about Ukrainian UAS successes.

Another area in which the Russians are apparently making more progress with compared to the past is EW. Various reports are coming in of Russian EW which is proving increasingly effective against Ukrainian radios, GPss and SATCOM. Like with UASs; EW is one area in which almost everyone thought the Russians would dominate in event of a war in the Ukraine.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
We're seeing more and more Russian UAS footage. Is it because the Russians are finally effectively using their UASs like they did in the Donbas years ago or merely because more footage is being uploaded compared to previous months? In the past we were accustomed mainly to hearing about Ukrainian UAS successes.

Another area in which the Russians are apparently making more progress with compared to the past is EW. Various reports are coming in of Russian EW which is proving increasingly effective against Ukrainian radios, GPss and SATCOM. Like with UASs; EW is one area in which almost everyone thought the Russians would dominate in event of a war in the Ukraine.
The fighting is focused on a smaller area, and across smaller distances. I think Russia has been replicating their tactical successes of the past. Also consider that much of the relatively professional pre-war Ukrainian army has been lost. Remaining forces are more and more fresh draftees and territorial defense formations. They're inherently less capable.
 
The fighting is focused on a smaller area, and across smaller distances. I think Russia has been replicating their tactical successes of the past. Also consider that much of the relatively professional pre-war Ukrainian army has been lost. Remaining forces are more and more fresh draftees and territorial defense formations. They're inherently less capable.
How big the the professional part of the UKR army ? Both sides seem to be overstating the losses of the others. Wikipedia and most NGS sources indicate the size was ~200000 total (air, naval, ground).
 
Last edited:

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Severodonetsk has reportedly fallen with Ukrainian forces withdrawing into Lisichansk. This allegedly includes the Azot factory which was partially cut off. This is possibly connected to the push towards the Lisichansk oil refinery from the south and south-west. Lisichansk itself is under threat of encirclement, and evacuating from Severodonetsk into Lisichansk itself takes time. I suspect the entire salient is now untenable from Ukraine's side.


How big the the professional part of the UKR army ? Both sides seem to be overstating the losses of the others.
It's a good question. I'm judging based on the fact that we're seeing and hearing more and more territorial defense units on the front line getting chewed up even in high priority areas. This to me suggests that Ukraine has less pre-war units available. And remember a unit that gets hit and loses 10% KIA, could also see 30-50% WIA. The remaining unit will need to be withdrawn and reformed, resupplied, reinforced, etc. So it will be combat ineffective for some time. Casualties aren't distributed neatly, and can often fall disproportionally on some elements of the formation.
 
If we assume 10K KIA, the 4:1 WIA:KIA ratio seems to apply in this type of conflict. This gives 50K losses for the UKR (20k permanent, 30K in returns). About 25% of their pre-war professional army (assuming the 200K is correct), concentrated in infantry losses. Not terrible losses, but I would imagine there is a high level of fatigue taking place in the Donbass units.

I cant prove off the cuff, but I suspect the bulk of the pre-war personnel are still utilizable given that UKR is keep a lot of forces in other areas. Use of territorial forces at the front lines may be buffering losses for the pre-war forces. I would love to do a more rigorous statistical analysis (via QJM), but the problem is finding reliable information on unit placement and size and activity over this last 3 months.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
The Ukranian always talk that the Russian kidnapped their civilians. They will be discriminate against, and no Ukrainian willing to be evacuated to Russia or stay with Russia.

Among Western mainstream media, French ones seems willing to shown more realities of civilians feelings in Donbas area:


Both sides are using propaganda, both sides are lying, and this fog of war are heavy from both sides. However one thing is clear, some Ukranian in East are more willing to goes with Russian then Ukranian.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It was apparently carrying a Tor module, and reportedly 10 crew MIA presumed dead, 23 WIA.

There is an important lesson to learn here. One being that Russia badly lacks ships with decent air defense. They've tried to resolve it by mountin Tor modules on the helo-pads of various vessels, including at least two 22160 patrol ships, and thuis tug. Clearly that doesn't help.

For Zmeiniy, the wise choice would obvious be to park a few frigates-corvettes off the coast and keep the island in their striking range. That would make it unusable for Ukraine, and wouldn't risk ships close to Ukraine's coastline. But the entire BSF has 3 modern-ish frigates and 0 corvettes. Instead they've stuck buckets of additional air defenses on the island. I'll post a shot of new Russian positions there when I get a chance.

Why haven't the VMF sailed some replacement frigates from the Baltic and Northern Fleets down the inland waterways to Crimea? They probably wouldn't be able to sail a Moskva class cruiser down there, but definitely frigates and probably destroyers.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Why haven't the VMF sailed some replacement frigates from the Baltic and Northern Fleets down the inland waterways to Crimea? They probably wouldn't be able to sail a Moskva class cruiser down there, but definitely frigates and probably destroyers.
Yes, from which i understand Project 21630/21631 and 22800 corvettes are built for channels, rivers and other inland waterways. But please correct me if i'm wrong.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Parts of the central Volga are only guaranteed to 2.5m depth (and intended for "future deepening"), hence prohibiting sailing Pr.22800 corvettes or any larger vessels through there.

Pr.21630/21631 are built to accomodate exactly that low draught (in order to be able to transfer to the Caspian Sea), so those would be a go technically. If at all transfers would be from the Caspian Flotilla to the Black Sea Fleet though; the Baltic Fleet barely has any Buyan/Buyan-M corvettes itself. The Caspian Flotilla has deployed these ships to the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean before in 2018, so wouldn't be all that unexpected.

With regard to the Pr.22800 and inland waterways, offhand they conform to the draught requirements for transferring on the White Sea - Baltic Sea channel (between Baltic Fleet and Northern Fleet). Far too deep in the water for the Volga though.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
This discussion brings to mind how the Germans moved S-Boats from Germany to the Black Sea during the war. It took about 2 weeks to move them; using canals in nothern Germany, the Rhine, Danube, etc.
No canals (or the Rhine) involved. The boats were cut apart on a port on the Elbe river, the parts moved by truck and railway to shipyards on the Danube, and then reassembled there.

There were later larger shifts of S-Boats via Rhine, canals, and Rhone under their own power from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Thank you for correcting me. I got the details mixed up. I read about the details in Paterson's "Schnellboots" some years ago.
 
Last edited:

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Update.

Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa.

Russian strikes in Nikolaev.


Allegedly Russian strikes on the positions of the 59th Bde, Nikolaev region.


More evidence of additional recent Ukrainian strikes on Zmeiniy.


An oil spill in the Black Sea from Ukrainian strikes against Russian oil platforms.


Footage of the burning oil platform.


Russian security forces are claiming to have foiled an attempt by Ukrainian special forces of carrying out an attack in Kherson.


An explosion took out the head of the family, youth, and sport department of the military-civil administration of Kherson. Presumably this is a Ukrainian attack.


Kharkov-Sumy.

Russia apparently hit Kraken staging area near Kharkov.


Russian strikes land in Kharkov.


The Shebelinskaya refinery continues to burn.


The Izyum Salient.

Chechen fighters in action towards Slavyansk. They come across as incompetent buffoons.


Assorted footage from the Russian side, around Izyum.


LDNR Front.

Footage of combat out of Severodonetsk. Note, Ukrainian forces have apparently withdrawn from the town, and this video is several days old.


Overrun Ukrainian positions near Lisichansk.


Shellings of Donetsk continue.


DNR artillery strikes, New York.


Battle damage from a Russian strike against a Ukrainian munitions storage in Druzhkovka, Donetsk region.


We have reports of an attempted Ukrainian breakout from Lisichansk, that failed.


Two destroyed BMP (1s?) near Lisichansk, allegedly Ukrainian.


Footage of battle damage to Svyatogorsk. Despite it falling fairly rapidly, the town took quite a bit of damage.


Battle damage in Toshkovka.


Ukrainian POWs allegedly out of the Gorskoe-Zolotoe pocket. I count 16.


Ukrainian POWs allegedly out of the Gorskoe-Zolotoe pocket, I count 30+.


Ukrainian POWs allegedly near Lisichansk (possibly also the pocket). I count 6.


LNR forces captured an M-249 SAW.


Russian TV reporters in Gorskoe-Zolotoe.


The West.

A Russian Kalibr cruise missile fell in Vinnitsa region.


Russia.

Belgorod region, a Russian border guard APC got hit by a Ukrainian ambush, killing 4. Allegedly it was hit by a Javelin.


A Russian oil refinery in Novoshahtinsk got hit by a Ukrainian loitering munition.


Iskander launches out of Belgorod region.


Misc.

Russian TOS strikes, location and context unclear.


Russian mine clearing robot, somewhere in Ukraine. Location unclear.


Russian soldier launching quadcopter, location and context unclear.


Russian military train Volga in Ukraine. Location and context unclear.


Russian T-80BV with a brand new KMT-8 mine trawl.


Ukrainian M-109s, location and context unclear.


A good shot of a Ukrainian FMTV M1083. The post is wondering about Ukraine's ability to keep itself supplied with the tires for them, among other things.


A very short Ukrainian troop train carrying a single 6-gun battery of Caesar howitzers.


There are unconfirmed reports that Russia has captured two Caesar howitzers.


NATO/EU.

Ukraine has allegedly received their first PzH-2000.


Polish Krabs have apparently been spotted in Ukraine. There was info of a planned handover earlier.


Polish supplied 2S1s have been spotted in Ukraine.


US delivering Mi-17s to Ukraine.


Ukraine has received EU candidate status.

 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
So despite initial reports that ~2000 Ukrainian service members were surrounded in Gorskoe-Zolotoe, the POW numbers are ~50 so far. Even if we allow that we're seeing less then half, it's nowhere near the hundreds, to 1000+ POWs that should have come out of there. This suggests Ukrainian forces were able to withdraw. I'm still behind, and there's footage of Gorskoe and Zolotoe that shows Ukrainian supplies left behind. Tentatively this suggests the following picture; as all the major roads got cut, Ukrainian forces quickly exited the forming pocket, leaving behind what they couldn't take. They certainly took losses both in KIA/WIA and POWs but I suspect the bulk of the forces got out. Russian sources are celebrating this as a victory, as ground has been gained, and the stage is set for the encirclement of Lisichansk, but to me this is a continue problem. Russia needs to break the Ukrainian military, and Russia won't be able to do this if they keep successfully avoiding encirclement and destruction.

Lisichansk is now certainly in trouble, but the road to Seversk is still open, even if under occasional Russian fire. It remains to be seen if Russia can close the lid on the Lisichansk cauldron.

EDIT: I guess if we see something on the scale of the Il'yich plant surrender or the Azovstal' surrender in Gorskoe-Zolotoe soon that would change my assessment.
 
Last edited:

STURM

Well-Known Member
Russia needs to break the Ukrainian military, and Russia won't be able to do this if they keep successfully avoiding encirclement and destruction.
I would assume that part of the reason is inadequate numbers of infantry? If so this ironically would be reminiscent of WW2 when time and time again the Germans formed pockets but were unable to prevent large numbers of Soviets escaping because of a lack of infantry or because infantry could not move fast enough.

isichansk is now certainly in trouble.
The question is if it falls what next? Do the Russians intend to go further or stop and consolidate their gains? Some have speculated that the Russians intend on moving on to Odessa but unless the Ukrainian army breaks in the field it's unlikely that the Russians will make it that far.

Also, would you agree with Michael Kofman's assessment that the campaign in the south could be Russia's last opportunity to mount an offensive due to a lack of resources?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
The question is if it falls what next? Do the Russians intend to go further or stop and consolidate their gains? Some have speculated that the Russians intend on moving on to Odessa but unless the Ukrainian army breaks in the field it's unlikely that the Russians will make it that far.
That's definitely not what's next. Next will be the offensives on Artemovsk/Bakhmut and Slavyansk-Kramatorsk. After that... who knows. Russian officials in the occupation administration are claiming all of Zaporozhye will be part of Russia. So maybe the next offensive will be Zaporozhye.

Also, would you agree with Michael Kofman's assessment that the campaign in the south could be Russia's last opportunity to mount an offensive due to a lack of resources?
I don't. I think Russia can continue this war for much longer.
 
I don't. I think Russia can continue this war for much longer.
If they can scrape up infantry replacements. If they can continue to supply the colossal amounts of artillery ammunition. Without accurate information,* I can only point to virtually all RU offensive activity coming to a halt other than a small area near Severodonetsk. This is not an indication of a force in full bloom. I have my doubts the RU can supply and support an offensive thrust other than on very narrow terms, and close to their own supply heads.

* is RU rail traffic available as OSINT ?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
If we assume 10K KIA, the 4:1 WIA:KIA ratio seems to apply in this type of conflict. This gives 50K losses for the UKR (20k permanent, 30K in returns). About 25% of their pre-war professional army (assuming the 200K is correct), concentrated in infantry losses. Not terrible losses, but I would imagine there is a high level of fatigue taking place in the Donbass units.

I cant prove off the cuff, but I suspect the bulk of the pre-war personnel are still utilizable given that UKR is keep a lot of forces in other areas. Use of territorial forces at the front lines may be buffering losses for the pre-war forces. I would love to do a more rigorous statistical analysis (via QJM), but the problem is finding reliable information on unit placement and size and activity over this last 3 months.
I suspect, based on what we're seeing on the front line, and on many Ukrainian units no longer showing up in the news, that Ukraine lost far more then 10k KIAs. I think somewhere around 30k KIA is probably more accurate, with a corresponding ~120k WIA, and ~10k POWs. I wouldn't even be surprised if Russian claims of 70k+ KIAs are correct though I don't think they are.

If they can scrape up infantry replacements. If they can continue to supply the colossal amounts of artillery ammunition. Without accurate information,* I can only point to virtually all RU offensive activity coming to a halt other than a small area near Severodonetsk. This is not an indication of a force in full bloom. I have my doubts the RU can supply and support an offensive thrust other than on very narrow terms, and close to their own supply heads.
I think this is true somewhat. However just because Russia halts major offensives, doesn't mean they have to exit the war. They can take a breather, regroup, get fresh forces into theater, and then resume the pushes. Also, it's not just Severodonetsk where Russia is attacking. Russia is attacking near Ugledar, they're attacking towards Artemovsk-Bakhmut, they're pushing south-ward out of the Izyum salient, they were pushing into Severodonetsk, and now they're advancing out of Ray-Aleksandrovka to try and encircle Lisichansk. Again this is nowhere near the scale from the beginning of the war, but it's not one small area near Severodonetsk either.

* is RU rail traffic available as OSINT ?
In principle yes, but I'm not aware of anyone aggregating the data. We see Russian troops trains regularly though.
 
I suspect, based on what we're seeing on the front line, and on many Ukrainian units no longer showing up in the news, that Ukraine lost far more then 10k KIAs. I think somewhere around 30k KIA is probably more accurate, with a corresponding ~120k WIA, and ~10k POWs. I wouldn't even be surprised if Russian claims of 70k+ KIAs are correct though I don't think they are.

I think this is true somewhat. However just because Russia halts major offensives, doesn't mean they have to exit the war. They can take a breather, regroup, get fresh forces into theater, and then resume the pushes. Also, it's not just Severodonetsk where Russia is attacking. Russia is attacking near Ugledar, they're attacking towards Artemovsk-Bakhmut, they're pushing south-ward out of the Izyum salient, they were pushing into Severodonetsk, and now they're advancing out of Ray-Aleksandrovka to try and encircle Lisichansk. Again this is nowhere near the scale from the beginning of the war, but it's not one small area near Severodonetsk either.


In principle yes, but I'm not aware of anyone aggregating the data. We see Russian troops trains regularly though.
UKR units not showing up should only be an indication that the UKR sources are not talking about them, likely for OPSEC reasons. I will assume the UKR are rotating units in and out where they can.

As for UKR losses, I would think their losses in the first part of the campaign (pre-Donbas) were light. They generally appear to be better trained, and were the defender, on home terrain. I would guess 5-10K KIA tops, but this is an off the cuff estimate based upon the RU inability to bring serious force to bear at any one point. UKR casualties must be greater in the second part, where the RU were playing to their advantages in arty tubes and relatively shorter supply lines. Even with the increased RU artillery, there are relatively few UKR in the area. 5 brigades ? (nuts, I lost my link to the map with units notated on it, can someone remind me ? Jomini of the West is way out of date). With properly dispersed defenders, even a ton of artillery fire isnt going to generate 20K KIA in that few forces in 1 month or so. Its still worth looking into , and I will post a question on the DuPuy forums to see if they have an estimate of losses to arty.

Remember most of the front is relatively quiet. Not much happening on 90% of the front lines.

So my guess ? 15K KIA total and the typical WIA ratios. I cannot give credit to claims to 70K KIA/280K WIA.....at that point there are no UKR left at all.

Exiting the war: neither side appears to be willing to exit at this time. The capture of Severodonetsk doesnt change any of the metrics. RU will grind on, trying to take Lysichansk. If it follows the same pattern, they take it in a month or so. Then on to the next city. Even if they make it Siversk and Bahkmut, now they have a river line to deal with.

Neither side has infinite time. The RU economy is taking a beating (shrinking by 7-15% estimates, bad inflation) but the military supplies should continues. The UKR economy is taking a drubbing but has the west to prop it up. Well, the west doesnt have infinite money. Both sides are losing.

Trains: I poked around on google but havnt seen anything that gives me hope. If we could get a handle on military rail traffic (assuming we can find it) we could get an idea of ammo consumption.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
UKR units not showing up should only be an indication that the UKR sources are not talking about them, likely for OPSEC reasons. I will assume the UKR are rotating units in and out where they can.
Other units are being talked about, so it's not like we have no info. It's that some units that were active early in the war now seem to have dropped off the radar.

As for UKR losses, I would think their losses in the first part of the campaign (pre-Donbas) were light. They generally appear to be better trained, and were the defender, on home terrain. I would guess 5-10K KIA tops, but this is an off the cuff estimate based upon the RU inability to bring serious force to bear at any one point. UKR casualties must be greater in the second part, where the RU were playing to their advantages in arty tubes and relatively shorter supply lines. Even with the increased RU artillery, there are relatively few UKR in the area. 5 brigades ? (nuts, I lost my link to the map with units notated on it, can someone remind me ? Jomini of the West is way out of date). With properly dispersed defenders, even a ton of artillery fire isnt going to generate 20K KIA in that few forces in 1 month or so. Its still worth looking into , and I will post a question on the DuPuy forums to see if they have an estimate of losses to arty.
If you find something interesting, let me know. There are definitely more then 5 brigades in action between the back and forth around Kharkov, the counter-attack attempts at Davydov Brod and Gulyaypole, the fighting around Avdeevka, Ugledar, Svetlodarsk, the heavy fighting around Dolgen'koe, and now the Gorskoe-Zolotoe pocket, not to mention the heavy back and forth in Severodonetsk. Ukraine attempted a partially successful counter-attack in that city.

Remember most of the front is relatively quiet. Not much happening on 90% of the front lines.
Lack of movement does not necessarily indicate quietude. The front near Nikolaev hasn't moved much since the initial attack but there has been much heavy shelling from both sides, and Ukraine has made several costly counter-attacks. Russia has also done things like hit barracks and staging areas. All of that causes losses.

So my guess ? 15K KIA total and the typical WIA ratios. I cannot give credit to claims to 70K KIA/280K WIA.....at that point there are no UKR left at all.
Ukraine had over 200k regular military pre-war, stood up 100+k Territorial Defense. Since then Ukraine has mobilized reservists and gotten plenty of foreign fighters. Even with 70k KIA and 280k WIA, with some returning to action after recovering, Ukraine would still have a standing force left, and not a small one. Remember Ukraine is continuing to mobilize reservists to this day, and we're seeing people in their 50s taken POW recently.

I also don't think the Russian claim is accurate. But 10k is far too low in my opinion. Given that the Ukrainian government is generally not trustworthy, if they say 100 per day, I would take that as the lowest possible average figure.

Exiting the war: neither side appears to be willing to exit at this time. The capture of Severodonetsk doesnt change any of the metrics. RU will grind on, trying to take Lysichansk. If it follows the same pattern, they take it in a month or so. Then on to the next city. Even if they make it Siversk and Bahkmut, now they have a river line to deal with.
What river line are you referring to? Krasniy Torets?

Why haven't the VMF sailed some replacement frigates from the Baltic and Northern Fleets down the inland waterways to Crimea? They probably wouldn't be able to sail a Moskva class cruiser down there, but definitely frigates and probably destroyers.
Sorry, what frigates? The entire VMF has 5 modern frigates, three of which are already in the Black Sea (along with two older 1135 ASW frigates). Can the VMF afford to send it's two remaining modern frigates into the Black Sea?
 
Top