by Simplicius The Thinker
We have an update is Ukrainian losses. Yesterday’s bombshell came from the head of Poltava region military commissariat:
\🇺🇦⚡️Losses of last year’s replenishment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to 90 percent – military commissar of Poltava
This recognition was made by the acting head of the Poltava Regional TCC, Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Vitaly Berezhnoy.
So, he is saying that upwards of 90% of all soldiers recruited in his entire large region became casualties. As I wrote in the mailbag yesterday, some have done a back-of-napkin calculation to get a theoretical 400k extrapolated figure for the entire AFU:
So if Ukraine mobilized 700,000 people and had an army of 300,000, a total of 1,000,000 You can project losses of about 800,000: – out of which 400,000 would be wounded, roughly half can return – 400,000 killed
There are unverified reports that Zelensky is now “indignant” and demands the dismissal of the Poltava commissar.
What’s more is that a Ukrainian fighter posted confirmation of the Poltava figures from his own unit, on his account:
He even says some divisions have even worse casualty figures. How much worse can you get than 80-90% casualty rates?
The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly clear that some of the worst, most extreme predictions on Ukrainian losses could in fact be true. This extends to things like POW captures, for instance with yesterday’s new report that already 3,500 AFU soldiers had surrendered since the launch of Russia’s new project to have a special “surrender frequency” on all radio channels where Ukrainians can dial in and safely surrender to Russian forces:
Since the launch of the Volga project, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine are invited to go to the frequency of 149.200 for surrender, just over 3,500 enemy soldiers and officers have voluntarily surrendered. In fact, a whole brigade of “counter-offensive”.
The problem is, this project is only a few months old. That means 3,500 have surrendered just since July or so when I believe it was launched. That would explain the sudden uptick to 18k total POWs, as the new radio channel made it very convenient for AFU to surrender safely—which had classically been one of the main barriers preventing their surrender. They feared by going out into an open field, etc., they would be shot by jumpy snipers or anyone not seeing their makeshift white flag.
But the new channel allows them to fully coordinate the surrender with opposing Russian forces, who give them instructions where and how to do it and then inform all nearby friendlies not to fire on the Ukrainian troops. You can see it in this video from right around the time when the radio channel was launched:
What’s interesting is that we have seen a huge increase in videos of “mass” surrenders in that time, in the form of entire groups of troops. Just yesterday and today for instance:
And even as of this writing, a brand new video came in with the specific caption that this party of Ukrainian soldiers used the special ‘Volga’ channel to surrender to Russian forces:
A new “party” of Ukrainian Armed Forces militants surrendered to the DPR
🔹The footage shows mobilized Ukrainians who are “tired of fighting.” They decided to save their lives and stop pointless resistance.
To do this, they used a special open Russian radio channel.
Let us remind you that in mid-July the frequency 149.200 was named: on it, every Ukrainian who decides to surrender can go on the air and call the call sign “Volga”.
Sadly, Ukrainian troops are just getting mowed down at this point. We saw a month or two ago they began their shift toward full-blown “meat assault” tactics because their armor had begun to run uncomfortably low. There is now numerous evidence of this in the form of videos showing either Ukrainian troops on foot simply plying through the open fields, or at most using their remaining light mobility vehicles:
Watch the above, see how the AFU troops were huddled in the grassy strips between the fields? Now, watch the video below which shows the ground level view of an AFU soldier staggering through the desolation. This is a must watch video that shows how much the AFU is paying for every square inch of their meat assaults:
There’s also this report which seems to underline the drop in armor:
Here is a small but curious piece of news. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have announced the change of name and therefore the transformation of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade into the 92nd Assault Brigade. What does all this mean? Mechanized Brigade is made up of four mechanized companies equipped with heavy armored support vehicles. An Assault Brigade has only two mechanized companies and another two of veteran infantry without armor. This shows that there is actually a significant decline in the availability of armored vehicles on the Ukrainian side.
And here was a good recent description of the new tactic Ukraine has been utilizing in the Rabotino area:
The Ukrainians and their supervisors realized that we are now facing a trench-infantry war, and therefore they are increasingly using cluster munitions. According to my feelings, two cluster munitions are now used for each high-explosive fragmentation munition. Chewing gum blocks are rushing towards Novoprokopovka.
As a result, their progress looks like this: they iron the trenches with artillery for several days, while they accumulate in small groups in the basements of Rabochino. At the appointed hour, they run to the assault on foot. If the assault on the next opornik (strongpoint) fails, everything is repeated again and so on until the landing is wiped off the face of the earth.”
With this corollary as well:
Despite all the criticism, the Surovikin line still fulfills its task. Yes, the Ukrainians reached it in the area of Verbovoye, but stormed it on foot. Armored vehicles did not break through, which means that even after the loss of the first lines, the “dragon teeth” still perform their function.
As armored vehicles became an auxiliary element on the battlefield, infantry, artillery, drones and electronic warfare came to the fore. Whoever builds the correct construction in this square will gain an advantage on the battlefield in the near future.
And as a corollary to that, I thought this statistic was interesting—albeit I’m not certain how true it is:
During the entire Battle of Kursk, the Soviet side used 400 thousand mines. Now, only between Pyatikhatki and Gulyai – Pole – this is mainly the site of Rabochino – Verbovoe-our team has put 480 thousand mines and this figure continues to grow! It is noted that even in their deep rear, the APU, when advancing to the front line, often run into our mines, in which they made passages back in June.
It’s likely true though, given the industrial-scale abilities Russia now possesses in laying mines with RAAM and FASCAM auto-minelaying capabilities which scatter hundreds of mines at a time after being fired from tube artillery.
As a last mention on the topic of losses, in yesterday’s mailbag I had discussed partisan forces and mercenaries. Now British mercenaries are fleeing Ukraine because they are terrified for their lives due to the recent uptick in mercenaries being extrajudicially killed, or rather assassinated by their own people:
Read what he says above: “I will turn up dead if I continue.”
They are getting backlash for bringing to light the recent killings of mercenaries in the rear, such as the other British mercs found dead with their hands tied behind their back.
The above references another mercenary named Macer Gifford, who speaks on it below and also expresses his wishes to leave:
And here’s the British news report about the dead mercenaries recently found:
A Polish mercenary likewise reported how mind-boggling the losses on the AFU side are:
So what is Ukraine gaining for all that slaughter? There continues to be virtually no advancement—the settlements they claim to have ‘captured’ like Klescheyevka in fact remain in the gray zone and neither side can enter them. In fact, astonishingly, even the settlements “captured”—what is effectively now—months ago, like Staryomayorsk and Urozhayne are not even controlled by Ukraine. They continue to be mostly gray zones with small roaming groups entering from the north then getting chased out by artillery.
It’s a testament to what Russia said early on—that artillery wars simply leveled all of these places (which includes Klescheyevka, Andreevka, etc.), now allowing either side to occupy them any further because there is simply no objects behind which to take cover anymore.
New drone footage of Klescheyevka refutes Ukraine’s claim of controlling it, as it shows a desolate wasteland with no troops from either side occupying it:
Lastly, there are rumors like the following. Though take it with a grain of salt:
General mobilization in exchange for weapons and refusal of elections
An interesting version of Zelensky’s plans for a visit to the United States from the people’s Deputy Dubinsky was published by the Ukrainian channel ZeRada.
According to the people’s deputy, Zelensky will be given weapons and will stop insisting on the mandatory elections next year in exchange for total mobilization and sending everyone to the front – from women and teenagers to the disabled and the elderly.
To the last…
After all, Ukrainian political scientist Serhiy Datsyuk just said in a video days ago that inevitably even all children will be mobilized:
On the other hand, in the Black Sea and Crimea theater, Ukraine has gotten in some licks which allows it to keep its information war afloat. This is not by coincidence of course, but rather that due to its failed offensive, they were forced to reorient resources toward something new which would grant them ‘victory points’ in the media.
This has resulted in a large-scale new campaign targeting Crimea, which includes the recent raids onto derelict oil platforms which Ukraine is attempting to use as staging areas for DRG units to attempt night-time raids onto Crimean shores. It’s claimed these units are also attempting to do surveillance on Crimean defenses, like a Russian S-300 launcher which was allegedly hit in Yevpatoria.
Now they’ve targeted Sevastopol’s shipyards, hitting Russia’s Ropucha class landing ship and possibly Kilo class diesel submarine. I say possibly because the photos “leaked” of the submarine appear to be potentially fake as:
- they don’t quite match the satellite footage
- they were first “leaked” / posted by Ukrainian accounts
- they are strangely pixelated/censored when the leaked video footage of the ship right next to the sub was clear and uncensored
- there’s no follow-up / subsequent satellite footage to show clearer destruction when there has been such in every other hit, like on the Il-76, etc.
- they also claimed Russian patrol ship Sergey Kotov was hit by naval drones and fully sunk, yet it turned out to be fake, indicating a coordinated information campaign from Ukraine
Many are making a big deal about these strikes, using them to string together a narrative that Ukraine is gaining strength in its strike capabilities, and is “whittling away” Russia’s defenses, degrading its ability to protect Crimea, and that this will all lead to Crimea’s eventual abandonment and recapture.
But it’s a very clever bit of narrative engineering on Ukraine’s part. Most of the individual pieces are not correlated. For instance, Yevpatoria’s S-300 hit has little to do with Ukraine’s ability to hit Sevastopol 70km away given that a radar unit at that distance cannot even see a sea-skimming or low flying target.
Nor are the strikes on Sevastopol’s repair facility necessarily indicative of any newfound capabilities. Just like the strikes on Russia’s distant Pskov airbase, completely unconnected to the SMO, Ukraine is targeting more vulnerable and potentially neglected areas in order to create a splash.
For instance, nearby in Sevastopol there are entire berths full of the most powerful, expensive, and advanced Russian ships. Why couldn’t they target and destroy those? Instead they were forced to hit a repair dock housing two already-out-of-service vessels, which were in fact sitting there defunct for months. It’s the same argument I’ve made before about Russia having entire airfields full of its frontline jets, Ka-52 choppers, etc., and Ukraine has not been able to touch them, instead relying on fanfare-producing sneak attacks on neglected and insignificant areas in the rear.
That being said, though it was only an old landing ship which have no use for the SMO it’s still a painful blow, particularly if it’s true the submarine was also hit or destroyed. Of course, Russian MOD released an official statement stating both vessels would be repaired, however some experts believe that to be unlikely given the potential damage. We’ll have to wait and see—but given that both vessels were already out of order it doesn’t exactly detract from Russia’s capability in the near term.
The only question will be to see if Russia can tighten the gaps that allowed these (reportedly) 3 Storm Shadows to bypass the net. Russian MOD claimed there were 10 total and 7 were shot down, so it’s possible it was a saturation attack which overwhelmed air defenses. It must be remembered that if it was that easy for Ukraine to do, they would repeat it again and knock out all of Russia’s ships in Sevastopol. The fact that they were only able to do this once indicates to me a very long planned out action they’re only capable of carrying out once every long while.
In general, we can conclude that though these attacks give the appearance of strength and “success” of some sort, they follow a common theme of hitting defunct or derelict objects with little connection to the SMO—which only shows Ukraine’s weakness and desperation to create media victories. From striking Moscow skyscrapers to empty transport planes somewhere near the Gulf of Finland, to hitting broken ships sitting in a repair bay—none of these constitute actual decisive or damaging strikes on active Russian military capabilities. That’s the most important takeaway and bottom line.