Fast-Paced Russian Offensive Yields Over a Dozen Conquered Cities and Villages, as Ukrainian Morale Is Collapsing Along the Front, With Over 100K Troops Deserting Their Positions

In the much-hyped Summer 2023 offensive, Ukrainian troops repeatedly failed to breach the formidable Russian defensive fortifications of the ‘Surovikin Line’, despite hundreds of billions of western military aid in money and equipment.

Kiev’s assaults faced seemingly impenetrable minefields, multi-layered trenches, dragon teeth and anti-tank ditches, and left a mountain of destroyed tanks and armored cars as a testimony for the new realities of war.

Today, drones, artillery and missiles, coupled with new ‘eyes in the sky’ IRS capabilities (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) have made offensive actions muh more difficult than in the past.

As the Ukrainian offensive efforts wound down, Russia took the initiat5ive fully leveraging its superior firepower and better trained and equipped troops, and by using a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ strategy, kept nibbling at the 600 mile-long frontline, keeping the badly outmaneuvered Ukrainians always in a rush to scramble reinforcements to and fro.

The result, in these last four months, have been quite different than in Kiev’s case, and the localities conquered by the Russian Federation forces have now amounted to well over a dozen cities and villages.

The news of the advances are so rapid and chaotic that I asked social platform X’s AI chatbot Grok to help me with a comprehensive (but not exhaustive list). What follows is Grok’s initial list edited and complemented by me:

  1. Avdiivka: after Russian forces seized this key Donbas city, they rapidly followed up with several nearby villages: Severnoye, Sjeverne, Lastochkyne, Stepove, Orlivka and Berdychi.
  2. Pervomaiske, Donetsk region – Russian forces announced the capture of this village after a year and a half effort.
  3. Semenivka – Russian forces captured this Donetsk village.
  4. Kiselivka – Russian forces have captured part of this Kherson Oblast village.
  5. Novokalinovo – Russian troops are advancing in this Donetsk area, with successes reported in the center of the village.
  6. Otscheretyne – Moscow forces captured most of this Donetsk town, northwest of Adviivka.
  7. Pervomaiske and Vodyaine – These areas in Donetsk were reported to be fully occupied by Russian forces after a year of fighting.

I understand that to some, this above enumeration may come across as a meaningless list of foreign-sounding names, but one cannot escape the understanding: it’s a lot of places.

The list above (once again, not exhaustive) shows that all localities, with the exception of southern Kiselivka in the Kherson Oblast, were concentrated in the Donetsk Oblast (region).

Donetsk is undoubtedly the main immediate objective of the Russian special military operation, because Donetsk and the already conquered Luhansk were the two Russian majority, former Ukrainian breakaway regions that ignited this whole situation.

While the Russian Federation forces have imposed a overwhelming pace to their advances, so far we haven’t seen a complete breakdown of the Ukrainian lines as many feared.

But the seriousness of the problem Kiev faces can be understood by the fact that two Ukrainian sources – including former President Volodymyr Zelensky advisor Oleksi Arestovytch – have revealed that OVER 100K TROOPS have deserted their positions and are unaccounted for.

Now, a report comes from the battle for Oscheretyne: a ‘blunder’ by Ukrainian troops allowed the Russians to capture large parts of the settlement unopposed.

Business Insider reported:

“Russian troops were able to take most of Ocheretyne, northwest of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, after an apparent rotational error involving Ukraine’s elite 47th Mechanized Brigade and its 115th Mechanized Brigade.

The 47th Mechanized Brigade was due to be relieved by the 115th along the front line just east of Ocheretyne.

But as the 47th pulled back, Russia’s 30th Motor Rifle Brigade attacked, taking advantage of a gap left by the pending arrival of the 115th.”

The commander of the 47th, Mykola Melnyk, famous for losing a leg during the summer offensive, wrote a rather shocking account on Facebook: the Business Insider translation is “The drastic advancement of the Russians became possible because certain units just fucked off.”

Automatic translation is a bit more tame:

“The Russians entered the outskirts of Oscheretyne yesterday. The rapid advance of the Russians became possible due to the fact that certain units simply lost their positions. I hope they will be disbanded and retrained as attack fighters.”

[That is shocking because it’s the military equivalent wishing them death by putting them on the most dangerous position.]

Russians flags fly over Avdeevka.

Melnyk also touches on a fundamental problem for Kiev: there are no troop rotations. They are just expected to fight until they die.

“The holes that ended up are plugged by those who were planned to be taken to recovery, so 47 OMBr is back in action. Another month and it will be a year without rotation.”

A spokesperson for the 115th Brigade denied the allegations. “The unit did not abandon its position,” he said, according to the Financial Times.

Needless to say, this ugly mudslinging between Ukrainian military units is indicative of the dangerous collapsing morale.

Russian flag flies over Artemovsk (Bakhmut).

In our coverage here of the battle for the key Donbas town of Chasov Yar, we reported about how some elite Azov Nazi units now have rebelled and sometimes do not obey orders:

“But while the fierce Ukrainian defenders have been reinforced with artillery and drones, and electronic warfare devices, as per a Reuters report, the striking feature of this battle is the fact that Nazi Azov brigades seem to be ‘sitting this one out.’

The experience from previous sieges apparently has made the most ideological Ukrainian forces weary of defending ‘to the end’ localities that they deem un-defendable.

Aleksander Khodakovskiy [ironically] writes:

“Information has emerged that Azov, the menace of all the ‘Moskals’, has again refused to sacrifice itself for European values. […] in Ukraine, those who made the mess are now pushing forward the gray masses, who were driven against their will, while they themselves prefer to save themselves for future political feats.”

The telegram channel from the Z 105th regiment:

“However, not everyone faces threats like ‘pincers’, ‘cauldrons’, and other blockades. The 3rd brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (formerly known as “Azov”) is one such example. These nimble soldiers have already departed from Chasov Yar in advance, drawing from their experiences in Mariupol and honing their skills in Avdeevka.”

Besides the 3rd Assault Brigade AZOV refusing to go to Chasov Yar, the 67th Mechanized Brigade (‘right sector unit’) refused orders and left Chasov Yar and reportedly will be dissolved.”

While the new US military aid package will diminish the firepower disparity against Kiev in the short run, and the new mobilization laws will diminish the dire lack of ‘human resources’ in the long run, the collapsing morale of the troops seems to have no antidote in sight.

Meanwhile, Russia advances. Fast.

Read more:

Chasov Yar: Russians Want To Conquer City Before ‘Victory Day’ on May 9th – Besiegers Advance, Pound Defensive Positions – Azov Brigade Keeps Out of the Confrontation (VIDEOS)



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Paul Serran is a Brazilian writer and musician, completing his first year as a contributor to The Gateway Pundit. He has written books, articles, TV programs, documentaries, plays. He joined the 'Information war' in 2017 and started writing for an international - predominantly American - audience. Unbanned in X | Truth Social | Telegram Channel

You can email Paul Serran here, and read more of Paul Serran's articles here.


Thanks for sharing!