Summary of the semi-daily livestream with Oleksiy Arestovych, former Ukraine’s Presidential Head of Office advisor, Day 337, January 26th. Kindly brought to you by Atis: @savaadaak
English voice-over video by Privateer Station:
Original video in Russian:
After confirming Leopard 2, Abrams, and Challenger 2 supplies, 🇷🇺 Russia made loud announcements, considering the West involvement in the war. Announcements are worth nothing if there are no actions. Everything 🇷🇺 Russia says is already considered worthless.
Let’s consider 🇷🇺 Russian options for escalation:
– Attack on NATO territory – consequences are clear
– Attack on bridges – remember that 🇺🇦 Ukraine bombed Antonioskyi Bridge with HIMARS for several months
– Bomb Bankova street [ Presidential Office ] – they can destroy 2 floors, but then what?
Leopard 2 is the main tank of NATO. Challenger 2 and Abrams are respectively main tanks of 🇬🇧 U.K. and 🇺🇸 U.S.
Only Leopard 2 fire control can find BMP at a distance of 5000m during the night and reliably hit at 2800m. Its fire control is much better than anything 🇷🇺 Russia has.
A battalion of tanks in a nightly counter-attack will change everything in a specific area. There will be multiple battalions (one with Abrams), that’s the next game-changing weapon after the arrival of M142 HIMARS, but this is specifically for an offensive. Expecting a total of 80-120 tanks. It will be challenging to integrate them, but expecting that to happen by April.
🇷🇺 Russia launched 55 winged missiles, of which 47 (85%) were intercepted, 20 near Kyiv. 3 Kh-59 intercepted. 11 people were killed, and 11 were wounded (data at 15:00 local time). Last night there were attacks by Shahed drones. Most energy issues in Odesa, Vinnitsia, and Kyiv districts, now returned to planned supplies. The effect is probably not what 🇷🇺 Russia had intended.
The ratio of 85% intercepted is good, usually from 75%-85% intercepted.
NASAMS are good, they strike with accuracy if in the right spot. That’s a task for military intelligence, to analyze launch locations, and the enemy is constantly adjusting launch methods.
⚡️ Putin’s speeches:
Last week Putin said “Our objective is to protect LPR/DPR”, while this week he said, “Our interests were threatened, we had to act”. The difference is, that the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk are well known, and they can be measured. Interests are very vague descriptions, and as objective, they can be claimed at any time.
Arestovych has a version, that in the 12th month of the war, Putin finally started to listen to the military, who explained that there is no way to conquer Donetsk and Luhansk districts, not even with available forces and reserves. The maximum that they can reach is the border of Konstantynivka.
⚡️ Battlefield update:
🇷🇺 Russia doing some tactical movements, in preparation for the offensive, which is expected in about a month. 🇷🇺 Russia has a favorable position for offensive – pushing against Dnipro, but no forces for that. They can’t stay in defense due to political goals, so their only option is to slowly crawl forward. They can do intensive battles only at 80km out of 1400km front.
Vuhledar: quite intense tactical battles, if the enemy claims 2 brigades, it means just a few companies, less than a battalion.
Opytne, Spartak: quite intense tactical battles
Avdiivka: attempts to encircle from the south, quite intense tactical battles
Bakhmut: still very tense in the south, north, and near Bakhmut
Lyman: enemy attempts to advance in the general direction of Lyman
Kreminna: 🇺🇦 Ukraine attacking (from 🇷🇺 Russian sources)
Zaporizhia: Some enemy actions and probing near Orikhiv, nothing serious, not preparations for the offensive.
Even, if some of the enemy reports of advances are true, they have gained up to 2km depth and will be kicked back soon, there is no serious offensive.
PMC “Wagner” is marked as an international criminal organization, and accounts of multiple related companies are frozen.
Multiple logistics and transportation companies are blocked, likely related to Prigozhin, Wagner, or FSB.
Unknown, why Wagner was not marked as a “terrorist”, but labeling “criminal” means that they will be chased and each transaction investigated. That will create significant issues for their usual locations of operation in Africa.
It probably won’t stop them immediately but will squeeze them into operating cash, and more expenses.
The diamond sale will be under question. Exact consequences can’t be predicted, but it will have an effect on their actions, and all related persons will be pursued.
⚡️ Prigozhin-Girkin clash:
Both exchanged aggressive public messages.
As Prigozhin is announced “persona non grata” everywhere, even in 🇷🇺 Russia, and has lost to Gerasimov, he has no choice but to increase the stakes and pick a fight. As he can’t do anything to Headquarters or Kadyrov, he is choosing to attack somebody on a secondary level. If he stops, he has to become part of the system and defend himself from other parts of the system, like FSB.
Picking a fight against a military blogger, he will not be treated seriously.