The Ukrainian army is still advancing. After gaining ground, especially in the Kharkiv Oblast, it is now advancing in the direction of Donbass in order to liberate its compatriots from the Russian occupation there as well. The newly installed front of the pushed back Russian army on the banks of the Oskil River does not seem to prevent the soldiers – according to Ukrainian information, their own forces are said to have already crossed the river near the Luhansk Oblast.
“Ukrainian offensive in the north-east continues to expose a clumsy and incomplete Russian defense system in eastern Kharkiv,” writes Australian military expert Mick Ryan, who tweeted about Russian troops’ deployment planning.
As an unspecified military contact confirmed to him, Russian tactical reconnaissance in eastern Ukraine was weak. The Russian troops always tried to advance as close as possible by using infantry and tanks instead of relying on special air and ground reconnaissance units.
In general, Russia has shown no skill in its recent military operations. The planning of operations is an important part of military professionalism. Good operational planning allows military commanders and their staffs to coordinate tactical goals and actions to achieve the desired strategic and political outcomes.
“Ironically, it was the Russians in the early 20th century who early advocated such operational thinking about military operations,” writes Ryan. “That is not evident with the current Russian military performance, which exhibits a historic level of incompetence and stupidity.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s former tactical strength is now being appropriated by Ukraine. With their warfare based on deception and smart operational planning, they are extremely successful.
“Ukrainians have carefully planned the best timing to conduct their offensives,” writes Ryan. The basis for this was intelligence information about the Russian defense positions, the location and number of Russian reserve forces and the delivery routes.
In addition, according to the Australian ex-military, the Ukrainian tactic of working backwards from the goals set in the offensives in the south and north-east of the country is proving to be a success.
The ongoing Ukrainian offensives would pose a major threat to Russian operations in the Donbass. Delivery routes are threatened, and the psychological pressure on the soldiers is enormous. It will be difficult for Putin’s troops to continue fighting in the east without responding to the threat to Ukraine of Russian logistics and rears. “This problem will get worse as the Ukrainians continue to advance across the Oskil,” Ryan said.
It is true that the Ukrainian advance would slow down at some point due to exhaustion and dwindling supplies. “But in this case, it’s probably still a little way off,” says Ryan. “Ukrainians seem to sense the possibility of a major Russian collapse in the East.”
According to unconfirmed information, Ukraine is said to have recaptured the city of Lysychansk in the Donbass. Kyiv refused to continue the peace negotiations at this point in time. According to a military blogger, Russia has probably imposed a withdrawal ban on soldiers in the Donbass.