by Russell Bentley
Other reports from Bakmut mention "several hundred tanks and IFV's" in Bakmut, which is a formidable task force, but nowhere near 80,000. And, in fact, 80,000 troops is far more than would be required for a total rout of the Wagner and RF Army forces around Bakmut. The nazis have concentrated some of their most savage fighters, not in the city itself, but in the vicinity, including AZOV, the "Free Russians", AIDAR, 1st Border Detachment, and 241st Territorial Defense Brigade, all of which are genuine hardcore nazis, and among the best equipped in the ukrop army. There are also an unknown but militarily significant number of highly trained and motivated foreign "mercenaries" from NATO countries in the area. The estimates vary widely, but all agree the number is in the thousands.
Currently, and as usual, the main determining factor in whether Wagner will be able to surround, take, and hold the city (or even hold their current positions) will again be the amount of fire and material support they get (or don't get) from RF Army Command, which has so far proven itself to be rather dubious at best. If the AFU/NATO make a concentrated counter-attack on Bakmut, a failure to have sufficiently reinforced and re-supplied the Russian and Republican troops will be a virtual death sentence for the Wagner "Musicians", among the greatest Heroes of this war. There also remains a risk, and serious indications, of counter-attacks in the Zaporozhia and Ugledar areas, but I think these will probably be feigned, and not occur unless a prior breakthrough by the ukrops develops elsewhere first. And by "elsewhere", I do not mean Bakmut, I mean the major cities along the Donbas Front - Gorlovka and Donetsk/Makeevka.
One scenario the "experts" have so far failed to mention is the very real and ongoing danger that the ukrops may make another attempt to do exactly what they originally planned to do in March of 2022 - break through the Donbas Front and enter directly into the main cities of the DPR. Understand that the second biggest concentration of ukrop troops after Bakmut is between Ugledar and Avdeevka, right along the Donetsk/Makeevka city limits. It would be no cakewalk, but if the ukrops can break through our defenses on the edge of these cities, and advance 15 Km (less than 10 miles) from their present positions, they will literally be in the center of Donetsk and Makeevka, the two biggest cities in the DPR. Gorlovka, the 3rd biggest city in the DPR, also still remains on the firing line, with significant ukrop army concentrations on the edge of the city. It is less than 30 Km (20 miles) from Bakmut to the center of Gorlovka. All the units around Bakmut could instead attack Gorlovka, a move that no one seems to be talking about, but one I sure hope our guys are prepared to deal with.
If UAF/NATO counter-attacks from Bakmut or Ugledar, or towards Melitopol or Berdyansk, what are the military advantages? Very little, if any. The first two are empty cities razed to rubble, the second two are over 100 Km from the current UAF/NATO positions on the Zaporozhia Front, across open and empty enemy territory, with UAF/NATO assault groups and re-supply columns open to attack from both sides along the entire route. A frontal attack on the Bakmut or Ugledar Fronts gain the UAF/NATO nothing of military value, and only place the attacking forces deeper within the pincers that the Wagner and DPR forces have worked so hard to create, and again, in empty, open enemy country, vulnerable to attack from both sides.
There are only three border crossings between the DPR and Russia - Uspenka, Marynivka and the southern crossing at Novoazovsk. The closest to Donetsk is Uspenka, at a distance of about 100 Km, over poorly maintained, mostly 2-lane roads. The other two border crossings are further, with inferior roads in worse condition. And while the DPR is de jure now part of the Russian Federation, de facto, the border inspections and passport control still continue as before, with the resulting lines of scores, if not hundreds, of waiting vehicles at the border, (even under normal conditions) which will be the cork that will quickly block all the roads, all the way back to Donetsk, in case of an attack, or even the credible threat of one.
The instant gridlock would make Russian reinforcements from the Southern Military District in and around Rostov, Taganarog or Sambek extremely slow and difficult, if not impossible. And whatever Russian reinforcements did arrive to defend the cities, would arrive after a more than 100 Km road march across open country, undoubtedly under fire, only to arrive and have to go directly into combat against an already ensconced enemy, dispersed throughout a built-up urban area filled with friendly civilian human shields.
Now, imagine a thousand, or even a hundred, drones swarming across the Front and into a major city full of civilians. If even a few civilians or soldiers were killed by poison gas, how long do you think it would be before videos of them convulsing and choking to death in the streets got on social media and panic starts? Ukrop media says the drones will be used to sow panic, "in Crimea", but there are no major population centers within drone range in Crimea. But Donetsk/Makeevka and Gorlovka are literally on the front lines, and heavily populated. It is no secret that there are not enough gas masks for the soldiers here, much less for the civilian population in these cities. If you were a nazi terrorist with a thousand swarming drones and chemical weapons, where would you use them? In the empty rubble of Bakmut? The open fields on the way to Melitopol? Or in the major cities of Donbas?
I also understand that everything our enemies say in public is a lie. When the NATO nazis announce they are going to send depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine, it means it is already here. The more Zelensky says he does not have enough weapons and ammo to mount an offensive, the more he really means he already has. The goal of those who own and control the Kiev Regime and the NATO and Western militaries and governments is to destroy Russia as an obstacle to their ambitions for world domination, while causing as much death and destruction as possible. If I was them, and that was my goal, and I had their weapons and assets, 1,000 swarming drones, poison gas, 200,000 soldiers in reserve, and no human conscience, where do you think I would use them? Where would you?
There are thousands of combat veterans of the DPR defense forces who, for one reason or another, are not currently on active duty. I myself am one of them, due to the fact that I am 63 years old. But I have a Makarov pistol and my trophy AK, and can still defend my home and country if need be. Russia should immediately begin forming and arming civilian self-defense units, whether their existence may be considered militarily significant or not. If the nazis take the Donbas cities, they have often and openly announced their plans for "filtration" of the entire civilian population. To be "filtered" by nazis is a death sentence, simply a code word for genocide. Russia will be complicit in this nazi genocide if it fails to defend more than a million of Russian citizens, and refuses them even the means to defend themselves.
Yes, major airstrikes on bridges in central Ukraine would entail some serious risks, and the loss of some aircraft is almost a certainty. But the southern bridges near Kherson and Odessa could be approached from over the Black Sea, the central bridges near Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk approached from Russian-controlled territory east of the river, and the northern bridges near Kiev, from Russia itself (or even shorter from Belarus), all of which put planes on target with relatively short flight times in UAF/NATO controlled airspace. Risky and potentially costly, yes, but totally possible, and absolutely essential. The Russians may suffer significant losses of their air force in an air raid on the Dnieper rail bridges, but the alternative is to lose the war, and suffer a devastating and humiliating defeat.
Above all, Russia's political-military and political leadership must understand that the NATO nazi invasion of Ukraine today, is and will remain, every bit as much of a lethal threat to Russia's existence as a nation and survival as a people as the German nazi invasion of 1941 was. And it must be fought with the same dedication, wisdom and sacrifice as the Great Patriotic War, because the stakes are the same for Russia and for Russians - Victory or Death.
If Russia is prepared and under competent and serious military and political leadership, Russia can break the upcoming nazi offensive, the UAF will be finished, and NATO will withdraw, or at least have serious reservations about the advisability and ability to remain or invest further billions in a lost war. Russia can then advance to Kiev and take control of it, and all the territory east of that. This will achieve the stated goals of the SMO - the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, and the removal of all military threats to the Russian Federation and its People from Ukrainian soil. There are only two outcomes. Victory or Death.
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