Although Ukraine’s spring offensive, which was announced with great pomp, has still not materialized, the past week was anything but uneventful – and not only on the immediate front line. Our military observer Yuri Podoljaka sums up the situation.
The general battle in the Ukraine war, which Kiev at least announced for so long in the form of a counter-offensive, has still not begun. Meanwhile, Russia has moved from what is probably the biggest battle so far in this conflict, the storming of Artemowsk, to the next major operation – namely in and near Seversk, assesses the journalist Yuri Podoljaka the situation.
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Seversk is located further north on the same section of the Donbass front and is a good choice not least because of the shape of the front, which hugs this city from south to east to north. Russian units are also actively involved in the neighboring Kremennaya on the northern section of the Kharkov-Svatovo front: They are clearing the forests of Kremennaya of the enemy in order to cut off a road to Krasny Liman through which the Seversk garrison is being supplied.
“The second most important event of the past week was the breakthrough of Ukrainian – well, you can’t call them sabotage and reconnaissance squads, they were combat troops – several kilometers into the Belgorod region, where they made a lot of noise. Unfortunately, this was the second incident that showed this Kind of Russia’s helplessness in the face of such incursions. Mobile squads have still not been set up to destroy such invaders and thus discourage the enemy from further such actions. Because Russia has the technical means, and I just wonder why Russia’s military and Security agencies still don’t use them for that.”
Other important events occurred in the now past 21st calendar week from May 22nd to May 28th, 2023 in the form of Russian attacks: These were carried out with high-precision guided missiles on military objects, such as command headquarters and ammunition depots located deep in the hinterland, as well as from the air on troop deployment areas , ammunition and fuel depots and vehicle concentration areas in the enemy’s near-front rear.
“Even the residents of the cities of Poltava and Kiev registered something like earthquakes, with Ukrainian seismologists denying any earthquakes. In other words, these were obviously the consequences of Russian attacks on Ukrainian bunkers. and although the enemy desperately denies and tries to hide the consequences of these Russian attacks, more and more video footage of violent explosions, sometimes from one city and sometimes from another, is emerging.”
“On the part of Zelensky’s gangs” there is still no sign of a “serious offensive”, even if this threat undoubtedly remains. The West is pushing Selensky “with all its might” – after all, the money has been spent, weapons and ammunition have been delivered:
“Now the thoroughly rationalist Westerners want to see results.”
Meanwhile, after the successful conclusion of the Artemowsk offensive, Wagner’s troops would be withdrawn to the reserve, so that they would probably “appear again at another hot spot” soon, the journalist suspected.
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Yuri Podolyaka is a Ukrainian political blogger (his channel had 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube before it was deleted by the platform’s administration) and journalist from Sumy (he has lived in Sevastopol, Russia since 2014), whose insights in the period from the beginning of the intervention became increasingly popular in the Russian media. His analysis outputs only come up with a few figures – but he gives a good understanding of the spatial extent of the respective developments by working with maps and occasionally offers short-term forecasts.
On the one hand, Podoljaka uses openly accessible data as sources: These are reports from eyewitnesses in the social media as well as reports from the Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries. On the other hand, he cites insider sources: In addition to those in the people’s militias and security organs of the Russian People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, these are those in the Ukrainian security and government authorities, which he claims to still maintain due to old relationships from his time as a Ukrainian journalist. To use the current intelligence jargon, Yuri Podoljaka is primarily an OSINT analyst.
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