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The Battle for Bakhmut
The battle for Bakhmut has lasted for about nine months. It is the bloodiest and most intense fight in Europe since WWII. Advances and retreats are measured in two to six kilometers increments.
Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian forces have been killed in this battle as Russian forces try to encircle the city, and Ukrainian forces try to prevent the taking of the city.
Once again, the following video shows the grunts in the field. I’m not interested in the policy wonk views in the West, nor the Kremlin’s perpetual aggrievement of losing the old Soviet Empire. This fight has become like WWI trench warfare with newer and more deadly weapons.
My opinion is that this war is not going to end anytime soon. Regardless of the past history between Russia and Ukraine, it should be obvious that Ukrainians are fighting for hearth and home.
.Published in Military
There’s much to-do about corruption and funding. But then I remember that the Ukrainians, the everyday folks, are fighting for their homes and their lives. It’s tragic.
Thankfully no poison gas, though.
I agree it isn’t going to end anytime soon. Neither side can really win at this point and neither side is about to give up or collapse. Also although allowing that any video coming out of Ukraine is going to have some propaganda, it is the nature of war. It certain appears that the Ukrainians are much more decentralized and much more flexible than the Russians. There is a logic to that. As you point out the Ukrainians are defending their homes. The Russians are attempting to take territory. The Ukrainians can afford to allow much more individual initiative and have a decentralized structure. The Russian army is depending on mass conscription, as such their morale and motivation isn’t going to allow or encourage individual initiative. It is going to rely much more on a top down command and control structure. This is aside from doctrine It has to do with the capabilities of the two combatants. Wagner might be different; however, I doubt it if they are recruiting from prisons. It is going to be very hard for the Russians to break a decentralized army.
Can we be sure of that? The Syrians used chemical weapons in their civil war and Russia certainly has the capability. I hope and pray you are right, but one bad signal from Biden and Putin might believe he could get away with chemical weapons.
The shelling of nuclear plants was bad enough.
I agree with your assessment @raxxalan – I think this is going to take years to finally resolve and achieve a lasting and durable peace. Can an armistice be imposed on Ukraine that leaves captured territory under Russian occupation? Of course; but I don’t think the Ukrainians will accept such a situation. It’s more likely that Ukraine will conduct a low intensity insurgency in the occupied territories (Crimea and the Donbas) until the Russians are driven out. In Afghanistan, that took eight years. But the Afghans did it with small arms, light machine guns, and Stinger missiles.
I do agree that some of the Ukrainians are doing this. Probably not the majority in Donetsk, Luhansk, or Crimea, though.
The Russians are also fighting for hearth and home.
It is difficult to say and different for those three locations. Donetsk and Luhansk were certainly easier to convince in 2014 that they might be in a better shape with Russia than with Ukraine. Russia is a master at destabilization and propaganda campaigns, so it is difficult to assess what is what in those two. There was a fair amount of discontent in both of those regions as the low level warfare continued form 2014 until 2022 both regions had been pretty lawless and had soured on the Russians to some extent, again propaganda is in play here but it seems credible this is the case. Crimea is a totally different story. Crimea has deep cultural and historic ties to Russia, so there I think you analysis is pretty much spot on.
I don’t claim to have any more knowledge of Ukraine than the average American, so forgive me if I misunderstand the situation. Given that the Donbas region has been in a state of rebellion for several years, might not Ukraine be better off to just cut them loose, make a peace deal, and end the war? I strongly suspect that if Ukraine had surrendered immediately it would have encouraged Russia to continue biting off chunks of Ukraine and other neighbors in the future. At this point, if a peace deal is reached Putin can brag about being a conquering hero to the public. Privately, I suspect the rest of the Russian leadership would have had a bellyful of death and expense and would curb Putin from any more special military operations.
The money Ukraine doesn’t have to spend continuing this war could be spent fortifying their military to further dissuade Russia from trying this again. Seeing Poland arm up and Finland and Sweden joining NATO ought to provide further dissuasion.
Donbas was not in rebellion. It was occupied by Russia in 2014.
It seems that every person is flying a drone meant for one other person. It is on camera and rather personal. It is slow and methodical urban warfare. I assume this is intentional. The way to avoid urban warfare is to destroy supply lines and trap troops almost like a siege. Instead we have two sides dividing a city with intact and endless supply lines. What is the outcome of a stalemate?
Actually the Russians have shown themselves to have profound logistics problems and the Ukrainians have been pretty effective at disrupting Russian supply lines. Not enough to force a retreat but enough to slow the Russians down significantly and keep them from bringing any real numerical advantages to bear. These to things being said I have a slight quibble with “intact and endless supply lines”.
It depends. If the Russians can solve their logistics situation and/or change their tactics, I feel it would favor them. It would give them time to train and bring their numerical advantages to bear and also would give time for Ukraine’s western allies to tire and press for a solution that is worse for Ukraine. If the Russians can’t solve their logistics challenges or change their tactics, it perhaps favors Ukraine. At that point it becomes a siege in slow motion that the Russians can’t win. I qualify this and say perhaps because a long war has more chance that Ukraine loses its western backers, which changes the dynamic profoundly.
I’m not sure what your point is in an essay about the front lines in Bakhmut. The Helsinki Times is an apologist for China and Gonzalo Lira also called Coach Red Pill by some is an unabashed supporter of Putin and Russia. He has a large following of Incel malcontents, although he claims not to be Incel himself.
He has dual US and Chilean citizenship. The Ukrainians should deport him to either the US or Chile. Do your own research just like I did.
I can’t think of ANY country that, while at war (even if, as was the case of the US in WWI and WWII, no enemy military’s “boots” were traipsing upon any of its territory), did NOT engage in efforts to prevent its citizens from consuming news/information that was detrimental to its war effort.
Where do you get your news about the front lines in Bakhmut and relative Russian and Ukrainian capabilities?
If dissenting voices are shut down, in fact criminalised, this ‘news’ is somewhat one sided (even propaganda), no?
But they won’t. They televised what was essentially a SWAT team to arrest some nebbish podcaster who disagreed with Ukraine. I’m pretty sure they knew he wasn’t armed and dangerous, so what’s the footage for?
Did your research involve investigating sources from more than one point of view? Or was it basically ISW stuff?
True, but I can’t think of a single reason a free person in a free country should then take that country’s curated version of events as the truth. Without questioning it.
I don’t rely on Ukranian military sources. There is a big difference between the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. I don’t rely on Russian sources and their empathetic bloggers. Radio Free Europe has reporters embedded with Ukrainian forces. There are no military bloggers embedded with Russian forces. All their news comes from the Kremlin. ISW reports on both Russian and Ukrainian military claims. ISW does not rely on secret sources like the Red Pill of some secret knowledge that some people claim they have.
He’s not a Ukrainian citizen. During wartime, it’s normal to deport aliens who support the enemy.
Who pays for RFE?
It would be very hard not to be biased in that situation.
Sure, but how does it present this news?
So when they tell us HIMARs are game changers they
mighthave a conflict of interest.
Is that what’s happening in Bakhmut right now?
I’ll cede the whole Coach Red Pill thing is cringe. I will also say that, agree with him or not, the man showed immense physical courage in continuing to broadcast his views, even when stuck in Kharkiv and completely vulnerable to the Ukrainian Govt. He could have just shut up and he refused.
There are also (unpalatably biased
)but) independent reporters in Donbas…a variety of (contradictory) sources of information. RFE is one of them.
The land Russia occupies is strategically located to make Ukraine (and to a lesser extent, Eastern and Central Europe) economically dependent on a hostile power if surrendered-Russia didn’t invade to aggrandize themselves so much as they did to prevent Ukraine (and Eastern Europe) from breaking free from Russian leverage through the exploitation of Black Sea oil and gas.
While I appreciate the primary source link my internet security does not apparently like the primary source. Can you provide a quick synopsis? I am not trying to be snarky here. I’ll allow that this is most likely a me problem and not any issue with the validity of primary source, in fact I may be more likely to give it credence since it is blocked.
Let’s see if they do.
After Assange (an Australian citizen, resident in the UK, was accused of breaking US law while in Britain….something which nobody in Britain, or Australia, or indeed anywhere else in the free world seems to see as a sovereignty creep issue – perhaps we’re all just bowing to reality?) I’m less confident.
And the gang’s all HERE!!!!!
I confess I really enjoy these convos, even if we usually end up going in circles….