Day 170, August 12. Summary of Arestovych and Feygin daily broadcast

Posted on 13 August 2022



Summary of the daily livestream with Aleksey Arestovych, kindly brought to you by Stepan:

Battlefield overview

The Ukrainian general staff said today that the enemy had partial success on the Bakhmut direction. This means that they pushed back our forces closer to the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut. This advance is about 1.5km. Arestovych calls for people to not “lose their heads” over this advance. The tempo and the scale of this advance are such that they will not allow the Russians to take Bakhmut, Siversk or other towns. There will not be a repeat of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. Arestovych says the Ukrainians have advanced north of Dov’henke and are probing near Kam’yanka. No real changes on the rest of the front, same attempts at attacking in the same places.

HIMARS o’clock

Explosions in Nova Kakhovka. The Ukrainians continue to destroy HQ’s, storage depots and other military targets in the south on a daily basis. Explosions in Horlivka and Donetsk. HIMARS are working well and the UK has given an additional 3 M270. Right now it is a war of attrition and it is going according to plan. Only a long build up can produce the desired effects in such a conflict. According to Arestovych, the Russian offensive in the Donbass currently has at best 1/3 of the power the Russians had in Lysychansk/Severodonetsk. 

Zaporizhzhia NPP

No changes, Russia did not comply with any requests to vacate the power station. This is clearly blackmail. The shelling of Nikopol’ continues.Arestovych does not believe that the Russians will purposefully blow up the NPP. However, an accident could still happen. 

Strategic change

The transition of the strategic initiative to Ukraine was marked by 2 events: 1. the return of McDonald’s to Ukraine 2. the strike on the Russian airbase in Saky. The Ukrainian army has shown that it can liberate cities without civilian casualties by flanking and forcing the enemy to retreat like what was seen in Bucha and Irpin where the Russians retreated when they became outflanked. Similar events could happen in Kherson, Enerhodar and many other places.

Putin held a discussion with his security council, likely he discussed referendums, no details were published. The White House has warned that these referendums would lead to new sanctions and other consequences. All a referendum would do would be increase sanctions and the flow of military aid to Ukraine. This would only accelerate the collapse of Putin’s Russia

Arestovych has believed that this war has long ceased to hold an existential character for Ukraine and now holds a planned character. The enemy is being worn down on a planned basis, and weapon shipments are coming in on a planned basis, sanctions are being carried out on a planned basis and lastly the Russian army will be kicked out of Ukraine on a planned basis There is far less uncertainty than in April. The strategic outcome has long been decided. The world is now focused on discussing what to do with a defeated Russia.

Options for Russia

The 3 ways that Russia could change their situation are:

1. Increase their army by 80-100k well trained soldiers (“volunteer battalions” they are attempting to raise do not count as such). Even then, this would only change the situation temporarily, and the Russians would be stopped again after taking a few more towns.

2. Developing their military industry and accelerating war production however this would not take effect for a few years and is impossible if sanctions are not lifted (which they will not be)

3. The third way is a mass use of nuclear weapons. However, variants 2 and 3 are never going to happen.

Even the Belarusian army invading somewhere would not change the situation. The Russians have no options left and they understand this perfectly well. This is why the Russians are trying to get a ceasefire and to carry out referendums. The war will come to Crimea and Ukraine has the initiative. The Russians are wasting combat power assaulting Pisky head on and if the situation in Bakhmut gets out of hand, the Ukrainians will simply commit reserves that they have to resolve the situation. Nothing can save the Putin regime now. Strategically, the war is lost.

That is why Arestovych dislikes the fixation on the tactical level which suggests that the Russians are somehow winning. The Putin regime exploits the anxiety of average people. The Russians are now issuing orders that cannot be executed. This leads to a complete erosion of trust in their own troops both in victory and in their high command. This leads to plummeting morale.

In response to Russian threats to the west, Arestovych says that only 4 Ukrainian planes with anti radiation missiles from the 80s obliterated all Russian air defences on the west bank of the Dniepr. NATO, if it has to, can use 2100 planes. In the event of NATO war with Russia, “there will be nothing left alive up to the Ural mountains”, he clarifies that this only applies to military personnel and targets, not civilians.

Feigyn compares the upcoming Xi-Biden negotiations to Nixon-Mao in in 1974 in that the US will attempt to play China off against Russia. They are creating a new world order with China, in which Putin’s Russia does not have a place.

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