Express SitRep of Ukraine war, by the end of April, 2023
Latest military operations
In the Donetsk direction, the Russian assault teams continued active operations in the western outskirts of the city of Artyomovsk / Bakhmut. Airborne Force units provided support for the assault teams in the city. The AFU total losses in Donetsk direction/Bakhmut are amounting up to 400 – 600 Ukrainian personnel and mercenaries daily and a large number of different military vehicles, howitzers and counter-battery radars. The total collapse of Bakhmut is at hand within a few days.
Heavy fighting has been taking place in all frontlines from the south / Kherson, via southern Donetsk & Zaporozhye areas, Donetsk, Krasny Liman area toKupyansk area, up to Kharkov. Based on reports of all frontlines, the daily losses of AFU troops seem to approx. 600-800 meaning a lost battalion a day, in April.
April 27, Russian forces destroyed by the strikes of Lancet loitering munitions AFU’s four (4) S-300 air defense systems as well as one German-made Gepard motorized air defense system. Russian forces delivered a multiple strike by seaborne precision weapons against the command staff of the Ukrainian battlegroup Kherson on the evening of April 28. Main targets of this attack were newly mobilized divisions and other formations for the coming counteroffensive.
After a short break, Russian forces launched another massive attack on the military facilities in the central Ukrainian regions. On the night of April 28, air alert sounded throughout Ukraine. RMOD announced, that Russian Aerospace Forces launched a high-precision long-range air-based missile strike against temporary deployment points of AFU reserves. All the assigned targets have been neutralized. The movement of the enemy reserves into the combat areas has been prevented.
Explosions thundered in the cities of Kiev, Kremenchug, Dnepropetrovsk, as well as in the Kiev, Mykolaiv, Poltava and Cherkasy regions. Ukrainian officials confirmed damage to the facilities in the capital. The city administration reported that the air defense system was activated in Kiev.
The attack was carried out by Russian UAVs and Tu-22 and Tu-95 bombers with X-101 and X-555 missiles. According to Ukrainian sources, the strikes were carried out from the Russian cities of Kursk and Voronezh. The unusual direction of the attack allegedly distracted the Ukrainian air defense, as well as numerous false air targets used by the Russian Aerospace forces.
The outdated Ukrainian air defense strengthened by NATO forces is still not capable to protect the population. Incompetent Ukrainian military intercepts their targets over the cities, killing civilians. On the other hand, it is possible that Ukrainian forces are intentionally damaging civilian infrastructure in order to use such incidents to blame Russia.
Bakhmut/Aryomovsk is now over 90% under Russian control and the rest will be captured during the next few days. Ukrainian total losses in the city must have been huge. The Ukrainian troops who try to escape from the city immediately come under artillery fire.
Holding onto the city at all cost was the wrong decision. The defense of the lowland city cost the Ukrainian army dearly as it eroded its material and human reserves. Those will be missing to patch the holes in the front line, when that long announced counteroffensive fails to make any serious gains.
Russian forces have managed to disrupt the rotation of a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the Donetsk area, Krasny Liman and Kharkov directions. This kind of operations are important in order to slow down AFU’s counteroffensive.
April 30, Russian forces have hit the command and observation post and the control post of Ukrainian military drones, as well as an ammunition and equipment depot, in the Kherson region, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson told. He also specified that the enemy suffered losses of manpower – an estimated 30 people, and over 10 enemy armored combat vehicles were destroyed. Russian assault teams take up another four quarters in Artyomovsk and up to 200 tons of Ukrainian ammunition supplies destroyed by attack on train in Kramatorsk.
AFU counteroffensive – to come or not to come
Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a video interview, April 29, that the Ukrainian military is ready for a counteroffensive that will be launched by May 15. It was impeded by bad weather and perhaps some internal problems but the AFU is ready for the counteroffensive.
The New York Times reported on April 25, citing the Pentagon’s classified leaked documents and US intelligence data that Ukrainian troops planned to launch their counteroffensive in the southern direction next month. As the paper pointed out, Ukraine was set to prepare 12 combat brigades of about 4,000 soldiers each, totaling about 50,000 troops.
The Kiev regime is talking loudly about its much-touted spring counteroffensive in the hopes of demonstrating to its Western backers that the huge amount of military aid donated to it as part of the proxy war with Russia has not been in vain. There are estimated to be some 12 or 13 new brigades – up to 50,000 trained troops – on top of up to 100,000 territorial defense conscripted personnel, from which at least 40,000 troops have been NATO-trained over the past couple of months. Along with training, extra equipment deliveries include about 800 armoured vehicles and 250 tanks of which about 30 are modern Leopard 2 tanks and about 14 are British Challenger 2 tanks.
Regarding the main thrust of this ‘Spring Counteroffensive’, it is allegedly to be to the South (Crimea direction) through heavily fortified Russian defensive lines and Zaporozhye, according to the analyst. Another mooted area of offense from the Kiev regime’s forces could be around the flanks of Bakhmut /Arteomovsk. Also, a “diversionary” cross-border incursion into the Russian mainland around the city of Belgorod could be considered.
This scenario would not be about military strategy but all about optics (PR, media hype) with the aim of generating panic among Russians. Some speculations have even suggested the possibility that Kiev will undertake a crossing of the Dniper.
However, even Western mainstream media admits that Ukrainian forces would encounter – in the event of such an advance – Russia’s layered trenched networks, concrete fortifications, pillboxes, tank obstacles and minefields. If Kiev were to gather troops, ammunition, fuel – everything needed for an offensive – they would be targeted behind the lines by Russia’s precision strikes, the analyst explained, also pointing to the deteriorating condition of the Kiev regime’s air defense system.
The Biden administration has openly questioned whether Ukraine can boast any significant success on the battlefield, for all the weapons the West has been funneling there.
NATO’s stocks have been emptied and a number of countries have stripped their own armies. Thus, something that can be labeled a victory is needed. Russian forces are inextricably dug in and have been preparing for this for a long time, whereas Kiev is perfectly aware its forces might be charging into a killing field.
Russia already prepares to celebrate the most sacred holiday for the whole nation — the Victory Day. Kyiv threatens to make it a day of the great trouble to Russia. In 2023, the beginning of May coincides with the promised start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. It is believed that Ukraine’s “most ferocious brigades armed with Western weapons” will go on offensive that Kyiv has been trumpeting about for six months already.
Military experts note that the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine (under the management of MI6, the CIA, NATO, the Pentagon and the NSA) will try to conduct attacks “from all sides” expecting that some part of their bloody plans will come true. Ukrainian officials are catching up with similar threats in relation to the Crimea, Russia’s old and new territories, large cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg and other smaller towns.
It is not possible to exclude Ukraine’s attacks on Russia. The Armed Forces of Ukraine need a high-profile action to demonstrate their “victoriousness” to the West and Ukrainian citizens. The West has already given permission to such operations. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and a number of other officials and leaders of the United States, NATO, and the EU publicly declared that Ukraine could attack Russian territories. As for the population of Ukraine itself, most Ukrainians can only support the idea of strikes on Russian cities.
Speaking at a strategy session of the National Security Bureau, the Polish Armed Forces chief of staff General Rajmund Andrzejczak said, April 28 that, when he analyzes the war in Ukraine politically, he is pessimistic. The general offered a bleak assessment of Poland’s ability to send ammunition to Ukraine. “We simply don’t have the ammunition. Our industry isn’t ready to send the equipment to Ukraine and to maintain our own dwindling reserves,” he said.
Gen. Andrzejczak observed that Ukraine is experiencing huge financial problems, despite the massive aid packages it was receiving from the US, the West and Poland. Asked if the leaders of the West appreciated how far Ukraine is from winning the war with Russia, he opined that “an honest assessment of the threats was still both a surprise and a shock for most of them.” The general also said the NATO summit in Vilnius will be “a summit to define our credibility, of NATO, and the whole of the West.”
“Ukraine Victory Resolution”
Two US Congressmen have introduced the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” in the House of Representatives calling for the United States to support an outright victory for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. After the presentation of the resolution, it must then be approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee and then put to a vote in Congress, both at the House of Representatives and the Senate level, before becoming law.
While the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” faces an uncertain future in a Congress, one should not count out the potential for the resolution becoming law, especially given the track record of its sponsors (Congressmen Wilson, Cohen and McCaul).
The text of the draft resolution “affirms that it is the policy of the United States to see Ukraine victorious against the invasion and restored to its internationally recognized 1991 borders.” This means that the conflict in Ukraine could not be ended until the territories of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea are returned to Ukrainian sovereignty.
While the resolution accurately reflects both current US policy objectives and Ukrainian government desires, it ignores two critical realities. First, it is Russia that is winning the conflict, not Ukraine, and as such any termination of the current conflict will reflect this hard truth. Moreover, to tie both the US and Ukraine to unrealistic expectations creates obstacles to any possible negotiated end to the conflict. A vote for the resolution is a vote for nuclear war with Russia.
NATO may send troops to Western Ukraine, if Kiev’s Spring Offensive fails
Based on “Pentagon leaked papers”, the real state of the NATO-Russia proxy conflict in Ukraine has brought the “do or die” pressure facing Kiev into focus. Biden administration officials told US media this week that the White House is “quietly preparing” for the contingency of Ukrainian forces failing to gain any significant ground against Russia during Kiev’s much-hyped spring offensive and for the reputational blow this might have for Washington via-a-vis other allies and clients.
Administration officials reportedly also fear that a failed or stalled offensive could result in attacks on the White House at home both by hawks pushing for even more aid to Kiev, and doves arguing that the Ukrainian Army’s failure would prove that Russia can’t be ejected from Crimea, Donbass, and its new territories.
The latest piece in the MSM hyping the prospects of a possible Ukrainian defeat is not the first, the article by Bloomberg last week was warning that a “breakthrough” in the conflict may not come at all in 2023 and that observers should lower their expectations of Ukraine advancing more than 30 km. There is a lowering of expectations, Western support for Ukraine could weaken and Kiev could come under increasing pressure to enter serious peace talks to end or freeze the conflict, the observers noted. Again, the mainstream media, have done features about how Russia has been, for the last half year, building up extensive layered trench networks, fortified concrete fortifications, pillboxes, tank obstacles like dragon teeth, very extensive minefields laid out in advance etc.
Some international observers are pointing to the “new domino theory” that’s being pushed by warmongers in Washington on the need to prop up Kiev at all costs or face Taiwan “falling” to China. If Kiev suffers a major defeat on the battlefield, NATO may be tempted to intervene directly in the crisis to prevent its global defeat. In this case the US and Polish troops, maybe Romanians, the Baltics, the Brits – a new coalition of the peacekeepers- will be sent into western Ukraine.
Russia don’t really want to occupy West Ukraine because unlike East Ukraine, they really do hate Russia over there. It would be very hostile guerilla territory. Ultimately, the main issue of concern for the analyst is Odessa – the strategic, majority Russian-speaking seaport.
If the Kiev regime loses that, then they’re a landlocked little “rump state” and the US got the 101st Airborne just across the border in Romania exactly to step across as a tripwire force into Odessa. A possible direct NATO-Russia fights over Odessa, because Russia would not allow Odessa to become a US naval base. That’s the potential World War III scenario.
General Cavoli gives eye-opening testimony
General Cavoli is the commander of United States European Command (EUCOM) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe. April 27, he gave testimony at the House of Representatives HASC (House Armed Services Committee) hearing, alongside Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander. The whole testimony was full of discrepancies, biased, flawed and illogical statements and conclusions.
Cavoli reveals to a stunned congressional audience that Russia has hardly taken any damage during the conflict (“Russian forces as degenerated…somewhat”).
Another slip comes a moment later when he explains how the US is learning a huge lesson in Ukraine as regards consumption rates of munitions. Once again this proves how utterly unqualified American generals, planners, military ‘experts’, and think-tankers were in estimating a near-peer type of conflict. It’s no wonder General Milley was forced to comically admit that if Ukraine loses, the US will have to literally double its defense budget.
Cavoli openly admits that NATO/US has been moving east even before the start of the conflict and is now moving further east.
Then he indirectly was admitting to Ukrainian weaknesses as to the upcoming offensive but claims that they are ready and that the US has meticulously modeled the offensive. He goes on to give the open admission that the US is in fact commanding the Ukrainian forces, creating the strategies and vectors of the upcoming Grand Offensive.
British radioactive weapons arrive In Ukraine
Ignoring all Russian protests, the British government confirmed on April 26th that its depleted uranium ammunitions for Challenger 2 tanks are already on Ukrainian soil. Moscow’s officials have repeatedly warned that such an escalation in the conflict should be avoided but London has not observed the advice and has further violated a red line by sending radioactive weapons to the Kiev regime. It remains to be seen what the consequences of this dangerous measure will be.
The confirmation of the delivery of weapons (thousands of rounds) was made by the Minister of Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, James Heappey, during a speech to the British Parliament. According to Heappey, depleted uranium ammunitions were sent to Ukraine along with other projectiles suitable for use in Challenger 2 tanks. The minister also added that British officials will not try to track where these weapons will be used.
When asked by some parliamentarians about the health dangers posed by these weapons, Heappey claimed that this threat would be “low”. Interestingly, the minister seems to completely ignore that a series of recent studies point to the opposite, showing serious health problems both in the soldiers who manipulated this equipment and in the victims of the ammunition. The problems include several risks commonly attributed to radioactive substances, such as cancer, fetal deformity, deficiency of fertility, among others. However, London and Washington continue to deny evidence of these dangers.
Moscow has repeatedly asked London to reconsider its plan to send these munitions to Kiev. In March, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that the use of such projectiles could “cause irreparable harm” to the health of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians as well as inflict “tremendous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex” in the region, citing the weapon’s impact during the previous experience in Iraq.
However, despite the warnings, the shipment of these weapons was already expected. In March, US and British troops held a training program with Ukrainian soldiers to teach them how to properly handle depleted uranium munitions. The plan was very well prepared and echoes NATO’s interest in taking the proxy war with Russia to the most dangerous levels of military escalation, ignoring any humanitarian, environmental or social concerns.
Moscow considers the use of depleted uranium against its troops as a true nuclear attack, which would allow the Russians to react with their relevant arsenal. Regardless of what the Russian response will be, it is certain that damage to Ukrainian soldiers and the civilian population in the combat zone are inevitable and the responsibility for that lies with NATO.