Summary of the livestream with Oleksiy Arestovych, former Ukraine’s Presidential Head of Office advisor, Day 339, January 28th. Kindly brought to you by Anastasiya: @Anastasiya1451A
Original video in Russian:
Ukraine holds defence in Vuhledar and Bahmut with Russian infantry and VDV sustaining personnel losses. Russia keeps shelling Ukrainian cities and residential areas.
⚡️Bahmut, Soledar & Avdiivka
Russia is sending infantry and VDV without artillery support to attack Bahmut and is sustaining heavy losses with very limited advances. Recent photo and video evidence of an unsuccessful Russian attempt to advance near Soledar emerged in support of this trend.
Russia hit Vuhledar 299 times with rockets, rocket launchers and artillery in one day to support 34 attacks on the town. The Russian attacks were unsuccessful, and the Ukrainian defence holds.
Russian artillery hit the city of Kherson, including residential areas. Ukrainian artillery responded by striking the Russian military position on the East bank of the Dnipro River.
⚡️Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities
Russia keeps shelling residential areas, including Kherson and Konstantinovka. In Konstantinovka, near Bahmut, 3 civilians died as a result of the Russian S300 rocket attack. The S300 are being used to target Ukrainian cities in close proximity to the frontline and are difficult to intercept.
President Zelensky has stressed that Ukraine needs longer-range missiles to target S300 rocket launch systems before they are able to cause more damage to civilian infrastructure and residential areas, as was the case in Mykolaiv before Kheron city liberation and as it the case now in the towns near Bahmut.
⚡️Prigozhin, Girkin & internal Russian conflicts
Now that Prigozhin cannot confront General Gerasimov, he keeps attacking Grkin in an internal skirmish. In an attempt to stay in power & keep Wagner’s influence over Russian domestic politics, Prigozhin is trying to increase his status in Russia by critiquing Girkin and his loss of Slovyansk in 2014. Nevertheless, Girkin/Strelkov is associated with FSB and Wagner cannot afford an actual conflict with FSB.
⚡️Fighter planes & missiles for Ukraine
The UK and Poland are suggesting supplying Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles (air-plane-based). Ukrainian representatives have also stated that Ukraine needs jet fighters (ideally 180+ to protect the whole territory of Ukraine). The F-16, coupled with an adequate support system, would be a bigger game changer than HIMARS and are superior to Russian aviation.
The supply of warplanes and longer-range missiles may be the main focus of the next Ramstein meeting, as these are the weapons that will put a final nail in the Russian army’s coffin.
⚡️Russia’s artillery & tank problem
The current average number of artillery shells used by the Russian army is 15k per day, which is a drop from the average of 20k in the Fall and 40k when Russia was attacking Severodonetsk & Lysychansk in the Summer.
The Russian artillery is the basis of Russian war strategy and the lack of artillery shells is forcing Russia to change tactics, sending infantry ahead without artillery support.
It remains unclear if Russia can solve the artillery shell supply problems, as they have already taken part of the Belarusian shell storage and the capacity of the Kremlin to mobilise the Russian military-industrial complex is questionable.
Russia has also lost over 3000 tanks, being forced to bring tanks from storage. Arestovych estimates that only 20% of 15k stored tanks can be used (resorting to cannibalism for tank parts). This process will also take some time.
Meanwhile, Germany is increasing the production of tank & artillery shells, with only one company capable of producing 450k shells per year.
Soon, Russia can end up in a situation where the Russian troops are outnumbered and technologically outgunned – something that Russia has no strategy to cope with.
⚡️Russian generals questioning their own next offensive
The Russian political elite is still planning to attack Lyman & Bahmut at the end of February/beginning of March. Meanwhile, Russian generals are questioning their own potential and there is talk of using the current forces to fortify the Russian defences instead of attempting another offensive operation (which would use up the critical Russian army resources).
Ukraine is ready to defend and will harass Russian troops, depleting their military potential. Moreover, by May, Ukraine will be equipped with Western weapons, ready to retake & liberate all the Ukrainian territories. Thus, in the next 2-4 months we could see catastrophic developments for the Russian army in Ukraine.
⚡️Russian oil & Sanctions
The US & EU are discussing further price cap on Russian diesel fuel and lowering the price cap on Russian oil from March.
Ukraine has started sanctioning Russian railroads, which may be a signal for further sanction from the EU.
⚡️NATO General won election in the Czech Republic
The ex-NATO General Petr Pavel, known for his pro-Ukrainian position, won the presidential race in the Czech Republic. The Czechs are known for their military industry and production capabilities.
This is coupled with the EU cutting Hungary’s Russian oil re-export capabilities, which is a signal for all the politicians that are compromising EU & NATO security by promoting Russian interests. A pro-Russian Orban, who is compromising EU security and Hungary’s interest to appease Russia has no political future, unlike the pro-EU/pro-Ukraine political opposition in Hungary.
⚡️Europe getting rid of the Russian corrupt money
For decades (since the ’74 oil crisis), Russia has been using energy (oil, gas and Rosatom nuclear company) to corrupt European politics and cultivate a generation of hand-fed politicians that would defend the Russian Federation at the expense of law, decency & European interests.
Germany has surprised many by becoming independent from Russian gas in one year and has nationalised two key gas distribution companies, further limiting Russian influence.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Orban signed a contract with Rosatom, going against European interests. The end of Orban’s rule may also lead to anti-corruption investigations regarding Orban’s dealings with Russia, Rosatom and the Russian oil&gas industry.
While racing for re-election Erdogan is obliged to respond to provocations (such as the burning of the Quran). Nevertheless, the ascension of Sweden to NATO will keep being negotiated amongst allies. The main advantage of the Western democratic system is that, unlike totalitarian regimes, the system allows different voices to be heard, arriving at a consensus that is wiser than the whims of a single man at the head of any totalitarian regime.
Saakashvili’s COVID diagnosis has been confirmed. Due to untreated poisoning, Saakashvili keeps losing weight and his condition cannot improve while the treatment is denied.
Feygin will soon announce a new public action to pressure the Georgian Government (some members of which are enjoying double citizenship of France and Germany) to respect human rights and allow Saakashvili to be treated in an independent medical clinic.
Next stream is on Tuesday, 31st of January.