US and NATO military leaders continue to insist that the Russians are making little progress in Bakhmut. Here are some examples of this so-called “reflection”:
Russia is making small advances near the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, but it comes at a high cost, the US general said on Wednesday.
Reuters quotes Milley as quite modern:
“The Russians are making small tactical advances (but) at great expense,” US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley told reporters.
Russia has reported laborious gains around Bakhmut in recent weeks, making progress in encircling the city, but hasn’t made significant territorial gains in months.
No significant gains? I am releasing this animated map as a public service.
If you watch the last three seconds of the gif video carefully, you will see that there are at least 9 Ukrainian brigades which are now surrounded and trapped. The Russians have fire control over the only route of retreat for these Ukrainian units. The time-lapse video shows significant progress over the past thirty days. And I’m not just talking about taking territory. The losses suffered by the Ukrainians are enormous in terms of men and material.
The next time-lapse video shows the results of capturing Soledar aka Соледар. Control of this city provides Russia with a secure rail line which is used to supply food and ammunition to the Wagner Group and other Russian forces on the front lines. It also provides the logistical infrastructure to move injured soldiers to safer medical care. Ukraine does not have a comparable logistics system to provide the same level of support.
I want to remind you that this is just a snapshot of a small sector of the 1000 mile long battle line. While Western officials continue to cling to the delusional belief that Russia is making small progress, we have yet to see a single instance in the past six months of Ukraine pushing back against the Russians on these points. ‘offensive. The reason is simple: Ukraine lacks manpower, ammunition and logistics to carry out such an operation.
As you can see on the next map, Russia is keeping the pressure on, with a high rate of fire, all along the front.
Officials in the West and in Ukraine continue to insist that a counterattack is imminent. I have to assume it’s a hopeless psychological operation. I find it hard to believe that responsible military leaders and planners would say publicly what they intend to do and where they intend to strike. General Eisenhower and General Montgomery did not speak in the press about their upcoming invasion of Normandy. They obscured their movements and made masterful use of deception. Ditto for Marshal Zhukov and General Konstantin Rokossovsky in their planning and execution of Operation Bagration.
I think the United States and its NATO partners are making a fatal mistake by underestimating Russian intelligence on the disposition and readiness of Ukrainian forces. What is clear is that the Russians say nothing about their plans to destroy the Ukrainian army. But I am certain that such plans exist and are being executed on a Russian-dictated schedule.