Summary of the daily livestream with Aleksey Arestovych, kindly brought to you by Stepan: https://twitter.com/childsacrifice1
“Serious trouble” has befallen the Russian soldiers near Balakliya. They are, quoting Arestovich “totally f#cked”. The Russians have retreated to the east of Balakliya. Russian reserves are being redeployed there by the high command but “a lot of surprises await them there”. There are a lot of Russian POWs and KIA. The Ukrainian offensive in Balakliya threatens Izyum, and if Ukrainian artillery can be positioned in Balakliya, they can reach Kup’yansk. This is the main supply artery of all the Russian troops in the Izyum/northeast Donbas area. This would cause severe problems for the Russians. However, it is still too early to judge in terms of the success of the offensive since it is only the first day, and it is likely that the Russians will try to mount a counterattack. However, to take this town in a single day is a great success since it took the Russians several weeks to take towns of equivalent size. The Ukrainians used a new tactic that Arestovich will not disclose yet to capture the town
Balakliya is “not the only place where surprises are happening” but just the one that has received the most attention. These “surprises” [offensive operations] are now along the whole front line. The only place where the Russians are currently attacking is the Bakhmut direction, everywhere else the front line is either stationary or the Ukrainians are advancing. The only area without offensive actions is the Zaporizhzhia region, but HIMARS and artillery are conducting strikes there.
In the last 24 hours, the UAF general staff has announced 8 strikes on storage depots and 6 on HQs, including a corps-level HQ. This was most likely the 22nd corps that is operating in Kherson. Also struck were: a ferry crossing, 3 clusters of enemy personnel, and 8 AA positions. This level is now occurring on a daily basis. This is leading to the collapse of the Russian grouping [unclear if he means just in Kherson or in other places in Ukraine], and even if it may look now as if it is resisting, the Russians will eventually be destroyed.
Russian shelling continues in Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. Russians also conducted missile and aviation strikes. Today’s strikes included Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih.
So far the 3rd army corps has not been committed to battle and has only been used to reinforce the front. However these troops have no battle experience and in a meat grinder of such scale, this would end badly for any inexperienced unit, especially considering the low level of the 3rd AC. It will not decide anything.
The Ukrainians captured Novovoznesenske and several other settlements. The Ukrainians are conducting rocket strikes around Kherson itself, today another ferry crossing point was destroyed. The Russian forces are being militarily isolated and their infrastructure is being destroyed. The Ukrainians have ramped up strikes on Russian HQs in the area. The new tactic used in Balakliya cannot be employed in Kherson because of differences in terrain and amounts of enemy troops. Forests in Kharkiv oblast compared to the open steppe in Kherson makes concealment and attack much easier over there. This variety in terrain and troop composition shows how interesting this war is for people studying war.
The Russians are creating blocking detachments of Kadirovite troops to “ensure the morale of their own troops”. In reality, this will simply cause shootouts between Russian troops. This, alongside Russia’s purchase of Iranian drones and North Korean ammunition, is an indicator of the state of Putin’s “superpower”. According to the Washington Post, Iranian drones are in Ukraine. The Iranians are denying that they supplied any drones because they are aware of the diplomatic consequences.
What made the Ukrainian offensives possible?:
1. The Ukrainians never would have begun these offensives if Russian offensive capabilities would not be exhausted. Wagner is now recruiting mobilized personnel from the L/DNR which is a very bad sign for them.
2. Ukrainian capabilities to carry out offensives have significantly increased. The combination of these 2 factors is what lead to the current events. Ukraine attacking in 2 directions at once is not letting the Russian high command utilize their reserves. Arestovich doesn’t believe that the Russians can regain the initiative. A Russian offensive in the Donbas would not succeed and this state of affairs will only get worse for them.
Arestovich says that it is possible for Kherson to be liberated in the next 1 and a half months before winter, and Ukraine can gain ground in the East in the Balakliya area. Arestovich says that offensive actions can still be carried out during the winter. Putin’s order to capture the rest of the Donetsk oblast will not be achieved. The main weather factor will be the amount of rain, not the temperature. A rasputitsa will make operations more difficult, but will not cancel them. War is always fought along roads whether that be in summer, winter or rasputitsa. The main question that will determine the extent of offensive operations on both sides is the number of supplies because offensives consume these x200 times faster than a defense. However, Kherson will definitely be liberated. The east will be more difficult.
Arestovich says that everything in this war needs to be reported with a 24-hour delay. Russian propaganda channels are not admitting their loss in Balakliya and are hoping that a counterattack will gain back the lost ground. However, the Russians are panicking.
Arestovich says that the report is “optimistic” and he expected it to be more pro-Moscow. The report is in favor of Ukraine and recommends a full demilitarization of the station. The IAEA can only be praised for this report and will be “useful in the Hague”.
European countries are planning a price cap on Russian hydrocarbons in response to the constant energy blackmail of the Kremlin. These price caps are used to cause predictability in the markets to prevent Russian manipulation of the prices to cause instability.
Biden announced that the US will not declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. This is to prevent undesirable consequences of secondary sanctions against India and India and the loss of economic activity would push millions of people in those countries below the poverty line. The Americans have carefully calculated this maneuver. The goal of Biden is still the military defeat of Russia. This would also hinder various humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
North Korean weapons: We know for a fact that Moscow requested to purchase weapons, but we do not know if the Koreans agreed.
There will be a live stream tomorrow.