Ukraine’s Rapid Collapse: Catastrophic Losses and POW Surge on the Frontlines


by Simplicius

On the front, Ukraine is facing one of its most rapid collapses of the war thus far. There are no two ways of mincing things: Russian sources report catastrophic losses for AFU who are woefully understaffed and underarmed. The largest scale of POW captures in the past year is currently ongoing, with over a dozen new videos just from today alone showing dozens of Ukrainian prisoners, including many Kraken:


Even the Ukrainian female paramedics are pleading for help with the losses:

As of this writing, the Ukrainian General Staff has announced a withdrawal of Volchansk, the largest city and stronghold of northern Kharkov region, though it’s unclear as of yet if it’s a full or partial one, as the wording is ambiguous:

Frontline troops are frothing with anger at command:



Russian forces have now even gotten within artillery range of Kharkov city itself, and there are reports they are hammering AFU positions on Kharkov outskirts from about 22-24km in Glyboke/Hlyboke.

There are even reports of blocking detachments now waiting in the rear to intercept fleeing troops:

An interception plan was introduced in the Kharkov region due to the mass exodus of Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers

There are reinforced checkpoints on the main roads of the region with “armed men without identification marks” who are looking for Ukrainian soldiers fleeing en masse from the battlefield. This statement, citing his own sources, was made by a military expert, retired lieutenant colonel of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Andrei Marochko.

According to him, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine “check everyone’s documents and inspect vehicles,” which is why there are “kilometer-long traffic jams” in many areas.

And if you thought that might be imaginative propaganda, Russian forces reportedly captured one of the troops tasked with carrying out blocking orders of the sort, who attests to the fact:

Either way, fighting was already being reported toward the center of Volchansk, whereas Russian forces had just reached the outskirts yesterday. Some reports stated Russian forces captured the administrative buildings near the center:

But that wasn’t even the most important noise by a long shot. The most shocking revelations come by way of a NYT interview with Budanov, who briskly visited the wartorn Kharkov frontline to make his assessment of things:

First, he states frankly that Ukraine has no reserves left for Kharkov:

Note: I use the Telegraph version of the story above as the NYT link is acting wonky for some reason.

❗️“We have no reserves”

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Budanov admitted to the New York Times that the situation is bad:

“The situation is on the edge,” Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said in a video call from a bunker in Kharkiv. “Every hour this situation moves toward critical.”

“All of our forces are either here or in Chasiv Yar. I’ve used everything we have. Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone else in the reserves.”

How’s that for a frank admission?

But if that wasn’t bad enough, Budanov further admits that Russia will start the long-awaited Sumy operation within days:



On the heels of that, whispers from the Sumy border have grown deafening.

Not only from Russian military channels posting teasers like the following:

But nonstop rumors of major upticks in Russian DRG action, drones, artillery strikes, and more, all along the Sumy region:

⚡️⚡️After teams of Ukrainian border guards and soldiers began to disappear in the Sumy region, the work of our OMD and ROSN in the border areas and art. strikes, Ukrainian armed forces evacuate several settlements northwest of the city of Sumy. Mining and engineering barriers have already been removed and the concentration of enemy forces is minimal⚡️⚡️

Another premonitory tease states that barricades are being dismantled on the Bryansk border, at the Seredina-Buda checkpoint, directly opposite Sumy:

⚠️ And the thunderstorm is already so close, it gives me goosebumps, there is a distinct smell of ozone in the air, black cumulus clouds have appeared on the horizon.

In the harsh Bryansk forests, not only terrorists lose their ears, powerful forest forces know where the enemy is subtly and are preparing for the upcoming thunderstorm; as part of this event, they disposed of mine-explosive barriers at the Seredina-Buda checkpoint.

In addition, ammunition depots and airborne assault forces of Ukrainian militants take off throughout the entire depth of the operational formation.

In the darkness of the Bryansk forest, epic warriors are preparing their instruments, others are unsheathing violins and double basses.

A sledgehammer has already been raised over the enemy’s head; it will soon collapse.

✈️ NGP exploration

One analysis crunched some of the numbers:

⚡️⚡️Kirill Budanov has left Kharkov with a scandal and is heading to Sumy.

There he will organize the contraction of Russian DRGs and deploy detachments for TRO and OMBR, which Syrsky is transferring from the reserves.

The Ukrainian armed forces have just under 54,000 in reserve, stretching from Kherson, which may end up back in the hands of the Russian armed forces, to Sumy and Chernigov.

12,000 of this reserve have already been withdrawn to Kharkov, then another 17,000 are planned to be transferred to Sumy⚡️⚡️

The part about Seredina-Buda checkpoint is quite interesting. The question was always whether Russia would come in on the east or west side of Sumy. If the east—perhaps even on the Grayvoron region—it would entail a giant pincer of Kharkov city. But the above checkpoint is far to the western side of Sumy—in fact, nearly closer to Kiev:

If Russia really entered that deep, it would seem to necessitate a Kiev push. The truth is, sieging Kiev could be one of the most fatally unexpected coups de grace, as Russia has very little territory to cover on that side and Ukraine—as Budanov himself admitted—has few reserves. Russian forces pushing in on the outskirts of Kiev would cause panic to ripple through not only Ukraine but the entire West, potentially destabilizing the situation catastrophically.

Think about it this way: Russia doesn’t have to capture Kiev, or even attempt to do so. Simply by bringing its forces to the outskirts, it could sow enough chaos and panic, civilian flight, etc., so as to finally unseat Zelensky in some kind of destabilizing coup, or force him to show his hand by fleeing with a government-in-exile, to Lvov or elsewhere—which itself would be politically fatal. There are many potential plays here.

But for the time being any such potential moves are likely very far off, as the immediate objectives revolve merely around splitting Ukrainian forces and thinning the lines in order to create breakthroughs aimed at generating catastrophic losses of materiel, personnel, and morale.

Amid the ongoing collapse, Blinken sped to Kiev to deliver another round of vapid “reassurances” to keep Ukrainian morale from catastrophically plunging. This ‘reassurance’ ended up consisting of nothing more than Blinken jamming out an uplifting rendition of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In a Free World” in a Kiev dive bar:

“What, you wanted weapons and money? I’ve brought songs instead.”

Can the U.S. Empire get any more pathetic or embarrassing?

Kiev was a full house as the scion of evil incarnate himself couldn’t let Blinken have all the fun alone and decided to join the conclave:

Headlines remain bleak as ever, even at times reaching new lows of hopelessness:




One of them even includes this handy chart for the alleged drop in Ukrainian interception rates of Russian missiles:

You may recall a few months back I had reported that Ukraine is only replenishing about 50% of its losses via its lackluster mobilization drive. The latest figures claim this has dropped to a disastrous 25%. However, the newly signed mobilization bill is said to take effect on May 18th, which could initiate a much more far-reaching and heavy-handed campaign to grab bodies off streets.

Interestingly, this almost exactly coincides with the May 21st deadline to Zelensky’s legitimacy, after which there are fears things may become quite a free for all. In fact, rumors on this tack already abound, like the following—though take it with a massive grain of salt, as it’s most likely fake but meant more as a demonstrative sample of the brewing troubles:

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It is over. Ukraine has lost. We need to pull back any money foolishly sent over there. Most of it has been taken by oligarchs.

One of the more shocking moments in the movie, Enemy at the Gates, was the Russians storming into the battlefield with only 50% of them armed and men warning them they would be shot and killed if they turned away from the front.
Ukraine sending armed men at the rear of their battles so fighters dare not retreat when out of ammo is just like that.