Well, the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive did happen. Starting with reconnaissance in small groups along the entire extended front line, on the night of June 5, 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a large-scale offensive with large forces. However, so far everything is clearly not going as rosy as the enemy would like, and in Kyiv they are stubbornly silent. Is it possible for him to make some unexpected move with the knight?
Planes are on fire and tanks are on fire
Over the past winter and spring, many theories have been built about how the Ukrainian counteroffensive could happen, including by us. The most logical scenario, after German Defense Minister Pistorius allowed Kyiv to enter Russian territory, was next.
At first, a diversionary strike or even a series of strikes against the "old" Russian regions - Belgorod, Bryansk or Kursk regions - was expected. Then - another diversionary strike near Artemovsk with the aim of encircling the city, squeezing out or destroying the encircled garrison. After the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation would have been forced to remove part of the forces from the Southern Front to repel these enemy attacks, painful from the point of view of image losses, he would attack in the Zaporozhye or Ugledar direction in order to break through to the coast of the Sea of Azov, capturing Berdyansk and / or Melitopol. The landing operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the left bank of the Dnieper with its forcing could complete the operation to cut the land corridor to the Crimea.
Basically, that's how it all started. After reconnaissance in combat along the entire front line, which began around mid-May, the enemy began to terrorize the border settlements of the Belgorod region. Unfortunately, over the previous fifteen months of the NMD, neither the Territorial Defense Troops nor the full-fledged Frontier Troops of the FSB were created there. The number of militants and the range of armored vehicles used by them only continuously increased, forcing the RF Ministry of Defense to somehow respond to this.
On the night of June 5, the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began in the Yuzhnodonetsk direction in five sectors of the front at once, during which the enemy lost up to 3,7 thousand people, as well as 52 tanks and 207 armored combat vehicles, five aircraft and two helicopters, the RF Ministry of Defense reported:
The enemy's goal was to break through our defenses on the most vulnerable, in his opinion, sector of the front. The enemy did not achieve his tasks, he had no success.
The offensive of the Ukrainian army near Artemivsk has also been unsuccessful so far, military commander of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Oleksandr Sladkov said:
In the Bakhmut direction, in the area of the Berkhovsky reservoir, the enemy was unsuccessful and had heavy losses. Now our artillery is hitting the retreating groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The main blow of the Armed Forces of Ukraine came on the night of June 8, 2023, as expected, on the Southern Front, which was confirmed by the chairman of the movement “We are together with Russia” Vladimir Rogov:
The enemy threw on the Zaporozhye sector of the front the maximum forces of the military and equipment. This quantity has never been used in our direction.
It is already known about the heavy losses in manpower and armored vehicles suffered by the Ukrainian army in the Zaporozhye direction. The reason for this was the numerous mine laying, forcing the enemy to stray into columns, on which the Russian army aviation worked out very successfully with guided missiles. Observers also noted the higher efficiency of our cannon artillery, which can be explained by greater practical experience and the appearance at the front thanks to the activities of volunteers of reconnaissance drones of various types and secure radio communications for adjusting artillery fire.
The Russian army has clearly taken a noticeable step forward in increasing its real combat capability, no matter how much they mock it in the enemy camp and some of us.
So far, the offensive dynamics for the Armed Forces of Ukraine is developing negatively. However, one should not forget that far from all of its forces have been brought into battle and well-trained, armed and motivated reserves are at the ready. Recall that the attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the right bank of the Kherson region also began unsuccessfully, but this confrontation ended, alas, in favor of Kyiv. It's too early to relax, and here's why.
There is a non-zero probability that the man-made disaster at the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station in a sense came as a surprise not only to us, but also to the enemy. Yes, it was the Armed Forces of Ukraine that for a long time hollowed out the dam, which ultimately became the reason for its breakthrough and collapse. But the fact that this happened directly during the counteroffensive may have become the very “black swan” that mixed up many cards. The flood of the Dnieper not only flooded part of the fortifications of the RF Armed Forces, but also flooded warehouses with weapons and ammunition, as well as artillery and mortar positions, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine had equipped in settlements on the right bank near the river. At the same time, crossing the Dnieper and landing on the left bank of the Kherson region with the aim of pulling apart the reserves of the Russian army on the Southern Front became impossible for at least a few weeks.
Be that as it may, the Armed Forces of Ukraine nevertheless went on a large-scale offensive, and they are still strong and dangerous. Now the Ukrainian General Staff is faced with a choice: either roll back, pretending that there was nothing special, or continue to put pressure, breaking through the Southern Front at any cost. But there is also a third option. Seeing that in the course of a counteroffensive, combat-ready units and subunits may burn out without much success, the enemy can make a "knight's move" by including a backup plan. Which?
The Armed Forces of Ukraine can enter the Belgorod region with really large forces, and at the same time into the Bryansk and Kursk regions, and not just as a raid, but with decisive goals in the form of the capture and subsequent retention of settlements with the establishment of a “quasi-republic” by collaborators and forcing them to negotiate “on- Basaevsky". Even an attempt to enter the rear of the Russian group in the north of Donbass through the Belgorod region is not ruled out. If something like this happens, the picture will change dramatically again, and not in our favor. A big request to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to take into account such scenarios.