In a video posted earlier today Igor Girkin shares his view of the results of 100 days of the Invasion of Ukraine. In short, while there are successes, the current offensive has exhausted itself and needs radical change if the claimed objectives of liberating Donbas and annexing Zaporizhye and Kherson are still on the table as stated by Russian politicians.
Today, as I understand is 100 days since the start of the so-called special military operation, so we can draw conclusions for the first 100 days, in short.
So, to the results of the “Second Concrete” stage. Russian forces together with the People’s Militia of DPR, for a month tried to defeat the enemy’s Donetsk group, managed to deal to it several tactical blows but failed to achieve their main objective – the enemy is not pushed out of the territory of Donbas, the majority of the territories which the enemy had before the start of the operation remain in their ownership. At the main direction of the strike, in Izyum, despite tactical advances, the main objective of the operation, which is reaching the operative rears of the Donetsk group, was not achieved. The forces did not even manage to reach the outskirts of Sloviansk and Barvenkovo – the operation there has stalled, so the main strike was moved to a more narrow section of the frontline, and more vulnerable in terms of coverage by Ukrainian forces and fortifications. Therefore, the Russian forces managed to capture Krasnyi Lyman, managed to finally take Popasna, and after taking Popasna clear from the enemy a substantial territory at the Svetlodarsk bulge thanks to the enemy simply retreating from the area. And perhaps it can be said that Severodonetsk is taken, the largest part of the town between 85-90% is under Russian control, although in the suburbs and the industrial zone the Ukrainian forces still remain, however they are retreating, they are admitting they are retreating. It appears that the battle for Severodonetsk is finished, although it cannot be said that the whole Severodonetsk-Lysychansk agglomeration is cleared. Perhaps it could also be added that the city of Rubizhne is finally taken… So – Popasna, Rubizhne, Krasnyi Lyman, Severodonetsk… and Mariupol, but as I said it was a consequence of the first stage of the operation so I do not include it in this list.
So there are tactical successes. No strategic victory. Therefore the Russian advance is largely exhausted due to natural reasons linked to casualties taken during the offensive. I presume that at this exhaustion stage our forces will still try to finish the defeat of the enemy near Zolotoye – Lysychansk, simply because this heavily fortified bulge will inevitably endanger flanks of the Russian troops during the upcoming operations, so they’ll try to cut off Lysychansk from Bahmut, cut off the main roads, which in the past two weeks despite active attempts and attacks never happened. I think this will work, I hope at least, though of course in general even this success will not strategically change the situation. I emphasise, there are successes, the Ukrainian army took very serious losses mainly due to aviation and artillery strikes concentrated on rather narrow directions. Ukrainian units fighting there are practically taking very serious losses in no-contact fights, since in contact fights our forces take more losses naturally as they are attacking. A number of Ukrainian units were frankly destroyed, a part of them we can say, judging by the losses, was defeated. Yet in general, the enemy’s groups preserved. The potential advance near Adveevka did not develop since our troops, as expected, did not have reserves. So, while breaking the frontline, surprisingly easily in some areas, parts of the DPR militia cut off the highway towards Konstantinovka but failed to develop their success, simply due to a lack of forces in reserves available to the command.
What can we expect next, in June? The fact that we failed to kick the enemy out of Donbas is clear even to the dumbest generals of our General Staff. The fact that somehow the direction of the strike needs to be changed is also perhaps clear. Now all depends on political decisions, since of course war is a continuation of politics with other means – but what did our politicians say during April-May? They claimed that the main objective is to liberate Donbas, then louder and louder they started saying that Kherson and Zaporizhye Oblasts will join the Russian Federation, or at least their fate will be decided in a referendum, thus the objectives have already become wider. Therefore appearing on the agenda is not only the operation in Donbas but also an operation in Zaporizhye, Kherson Oblast, since the enemy is attacking its borders. And I presume that similar actions might be taken in Kharkiv Oblast and elsewhere. Where exactly – is unclear, but what is clear is that in a situation where our and enemy’s forces are battling for mere meters of the Donetsk territory, the strategic victory by our forces most likely is impossible to achieve since the enemy has access to far more human resources in reserves than our armed forces do. If the war is left in the current trench positional format, without much movement, with hopes to grind the enemy down, then I assume we will reach Dniepr only by the end of next year. I hope that this reached even the dumbest of brains, I repeat, the dumbest of our generals.
Now, I also wanted to touch upon something else. As I said many times before, at many sections of the frontline, the positions are held by mobilised forces of Donetsk and Luhansk, the so-called ‘Mobiki’, terribly equipped, even more poorly supplied, and definitely untrained. They have been mobilised for 3 months. 3 months have passed, they are kept on the frontline, and those unhappy about this are threatened with prison sentences of 15 years. For now, this works. However, after some time I assume people will just say – “Lock me up!”, since sitting with one Mosin-Nagant rifle or an assault rifle which you haven’t even been trained to use under shelling of enemy artillery… for some people it’s worse than the perspective of a trial and even prison sentence. This question is not solved, and frankly I don’t know how to solve it without the notorious mobilisation in the Russian Federation. RF currently has nothing to replace these units on the frontline. Moreover, even if we imagine that right out of this very chair I flew over to the command center of united forces and became the boss, even I wouldn’t be able to remove them from the frontline without mobilised reserves. Miracles do not happen. There is no one to replace them with.
The only thing I’ll say is that I’m asking for courage of those soldiers and officers of DPR who were mobilised, forced into the situation, who must fulfil their duty of protecting their own land. Not Donetsk and Luhasnk, but Kherson, Kharkiv, Izyum… since if we lose them, then the question of Donetsk and Luhansk will rise again. But we already tried bashing our heads at the fortifications in Donetsk and Luhansk – didn’t work. I hope that in the General Staff they finally came to a conclusion which in competent General Staff would have been reached even before the start of the operation, which is that knocking the enemy out of fortresses is much better by cutting them off from supplies, not with direct attacks, not with throwing meat at them. Throwing meat only worked in the first days of the war. It won’t work anymore simply because there is not enough people. Once again, I presume that Donetsk miners, teachers, students, musicians who already showed immeasurable courage will do it again for several more months. Sadly, that’s what’s going to happen. I hope that in those few months, the RF and its whole bureaucratic mechanism, which is terribly ineffective, will finally move and manage to find human resources and make right decision so that the Donbas stays in the RF not depopulated, but so the people who took eight years of difficult war upon them will at least have a chance to rejoice at peace in their land and liberation of their land…