Igor Girkin declares the Donbas offensive has failed – 16 May 2022

Posted on 16 May 2022



Igor Girkin recaps the current situation in Donbas and declares the Russian offensive has failed.

Frontline summary

Kharkiv direction.

Enemy continues with attempts to push out RF AF and LPR reservist units beyond the border line northwest of the city. In places (between Kozachya Lopan and Volchansk) the enemy has reached the border line and the frontline passes directly along it (roughly). In the last day the situation has not changed fundamentally.

South of Izyum – After a long and bloody meat grinder the RF AF have completely taken ruins of the Dolgen’koye village. Hostilities around this locality continue. The enemy counter-attacks actively.

Fierce fights also continued in the area of Lyman (Krasniy Lyman) town, during which in the past few days our troops advanced and liberated several localities to the west and northwest. However, the town itself and its surroundings are stubbornly defended by UAF.

Severodonetsk-Lisichansk area.

As I expected, the enemy is not intending to give up these towns without a long battle even under the threat of an encirclement. Which, however, is still far away. Fierce fights continue in the area north of Popasna with significant losses for both sides.

In Horlivka area – no substantial changes of the frontline.

In Donetsk area, our troops – the staff units of DPR AF, yesterday broke into the outskirts of Staromykhaylovka (Donetsk suburb between Donetsk and Krasnohorivka) and now heavy bloody fights are on-going in this village. The situation in Maryinka is still unclear to me.

In Uhledar area – no changes of the frontline – the city itself is turned into another ‘fortress’ and is being prepared for a long defence.

I have very little information regarding Zaporizhye, Kryvyi Rih and Mykolaiv fontlines. In general, as far as I can judge, the positions of both sides have not changed dramatically, although in the past few days the UAF have managed to slightly push our troops in places.

General conclusion:

With regret I must say that the widely advertised in late-April and early May operation to defeat the Donetsk group of the enemy has FAILED. In more than two weeks of fierce hostilities (which cost both sides huge losses) only tactical successes have been reached. Not a single large locality has been liberated (except for Rubizhne although the fights for it started before the offensive commenced). Perhaps, some local tactical successes will be achieved before the enemy begins a counter-offensive. But it’s clear now – by early summer Donbas will not be fully liberated. It’s likely the UAF will not be even pushed away from the outskirts of Donetsk. And I cannot say that this result is unexpected for me. Quite the opposite. The art of war demands its adherents to strike in places where the enemy least expects it. In our case – the intention of the Russian command was so obvious, the terrain so beneficial for the defending side, and the balance of forces nearly identical for both sides, that… only our General Staff could count on a decisive success.

At the moment our troops have been drawn into exhausting offensive battles, continuing playing ‘by the rules offered by the enemy’. And it’s not only about individual examples of ‘outstanding lunacy’ (such as crossing S. Donets river), but more so that the losses incurred in daily offensive battles (that do not end with enemy’s defeat) cannot be quickly compensated by trained replacements. At the same time, the enemy continues frantically preparing their strategic reserves. And no one knows where they will strike when our troops will finally ‘run out of steam’ (although this can also be predicted which I’m not going to do).

What needs to be done in a situation where it’s clear that OUR TROOPS WILL NOT DEAL EVEN LIMITED DEFEAT TO THE ENEMY IN A FIELD BATTLE, and IT’S NECESSARY TO PREPARE FOR A LONG-TERM DIFFICULT AND LARGE-SCALE WAR – I wrote about this many times. So far, only the ‘good friend of all Urgants’* made a statement saying none of this will be happening. Well, well…

* Ivan Urgant – Russian media person who initially stood against the war.

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