Today has been a delightful stream of liberated towns as Russia scrambles out of Kharkiv Oblast—with or without its equipment. There are unconfirmed reports of major retreats in Kherson, but I’m going to hold off on posting those until we get better information.
Some of these Kharkiv retreats are bizarre. Take this wonderful video:
What’s amazing about this video is that it has been geolocated to Kozacha Lopan, north of Kharkiv, literally on the Russian border.
Kozacha Lopan is particularly significant because 1) there was no reason for Russia to actually abandon it. There are no supply issues, it’s on the freaking border, off a major 4-lane highway 30 kilometers from Belgorod. Russia reinforced it with pre-made concrete bunkers. It would’ve cost Ukraine dearly to try and take it. So why abandon it? Yet we’re seeing that on all those border towns. When Russia decided to abandon the oblast, they really mean pulling everything out.
As we celebrate Ukraine’s stunning victory, pro-Russian sources are finding hilarious ways to cope. Let’s take a look at some of them.
How it started:
How it’s going:
How it started:
How’s it going:
There’s this weird narrative on the pro-Russian side that Ukraine has paid a heavy price in its counteroffensive.
Russian resistance melted with few shots fired. Ukraine outran Russian artillery in a matter of hours. Did Ukraine suffer casualties? Of course. It’s war. But there’s nothing to suggest mass casualties on either side.
These sources will point to video of a caravan of ambulances rushing to Kyiv. Yet even that imagery is maybe a couple dozen ambulances? That’s not mass casualty. That’s a couple dozen injured. If that’s the extent of Ukrainian casualties, this would be an even more stunning victory.
Funny how copium makes their fantasies “obvious.”
Here let’s go to a tankie Substack:
My view is fairly simple: Ukraine cannot and will not reach meaningful objectives - what we call “operational depth” - and has in fact thrown much of its carefully crafted premium reserves into a dangerous position. I believe it’s highly likely that these top rate Ukrainian formations are about to be savaged [...]
For Ukraine, one of the basic problems is that Russia has such an enormous advantage in firepower - aircraft, tube artillery, rocketry, and tanks - that any offensive must reach operational depth quickly in order to disrupt Russia’s ability to bring this firepower to bear. In the Izyum sector, this simply isn’t possible.
Lacking the ability to operationally compromise Russian forces here, Ukraine will find itself in a good old fashioned shootout against an enemy with vastly superior firepower - not only that, but it is in fact Ukraine that now faces operational complications, having blasted their way into a salient with no prospects for crossing the Oskil in force and exploiting.
That aged well.
Don’t worry, though. Tucker Carlson’s favorite “expert” now says that “Russia still has the capacity to crush the Ukrainian military if it chooses to fully mobilize” and if Ukraine pushes harder, Russia will respond with nuclear weapons. So Ukraine needs to stop all that winning.
That entire thread is great. Very satisfying, stuff like this:
In contrast to Russian Twitter, Russian Telegram is ready to draw and quarter Putin.
If you’re wondering why pro-Russian Telegram and Twitter are so different, the Telegram contingent are far-right nationalists, and thus have greater freedom to criticize the Russian military operation. On Twitter, it’s more rote propagandists and tankies repeating the party line, no matter how ludicrous.
This is fun:
And yes to this:
Anglo-American-Polish is a great formulation. Western Europe hasn’t been useless, but its desire to appease Putin has hobbled it and left it behind, and even more so with Ukraine’s now rapid gains. France wanted to lead a new European army. That dream is dead. Germany will likely be a great partner in Ukraine’s reconstruction, but no one is going to depend on it militarily. Spain and Italy have done the bare minimum.
Who has stepped up? The US, UK, Poland, Canada, Australia, the Baltic nations, Slovakia, and Czechia. Poland has launched a military buildup that will make it the strongest in Europe. (If only its government’s backslide into authoritarianism-lite wasn’t so worrying...)
I think of her every single day.
Honestly, hitting critical infrastructure makes more military sense than hitting random apartment buildings. Russia are terrorists, and this is terrorism, but at least there’s some strategic thinking behind it.
Unfortunately for Russia, this is nothing more than a temper tantrum. Won’t affect the actual situation on the ground.
Pro-Russia Telegram is ecstatic.
This might be his best speech since “I don’t need a ride, I need more ammunition.”
95 of 102 items added to list today are captured, including 23 tanks.
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