And a nice summary:
I’ll be very interested to see if the deteriorating situation ends up creating more of a political problem for Putin from the nationalist/cult-of-victory wing that he’s spent much of his administration cultivating than the mostly already repressed liberal opposition could ever hope to pose.
Those guys are quite likely more numerous; and pretty much certain to be much better represented in military, police, and intelligence jobs that give you the position and/or skills required to make a lot of trouble.
I suspect that expecting any direct analog would be naïve and unrealistic given the differences; but I can’t help but think back to when France ended up with a putsch, the OAS carrying out a fairly prolific terror campaign, and De Gaulle very nearly getting shot: not for fighting an unpopular and futile war in support of a tenuous territorial claim that the public ultimately didn’t really care about enough to sacrifice for; but for stopping that unpopular and futile war and, at least in practice, giving up the territorial claim as not worth the trouble.
Ukraine appears to recapture key cities of Izyum and Kupiansk
Ukraine appears to have recaptured the key cities of Izyum and Kupiansk.
The cities lie southeast of Kharkiv city in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces have launched a major counter-offensive in recent days. Analysts say Kupiansk in particular is an important logistical hub for Russian forces in the east of Ukraine.
A number of pro-Russian Telegram channels have said Ukrainian forces now control half of Kupiansk, BBC Russia reports, while Ukrainian sources have told the outlet that Kupiansk has been “completely liberated”.
BBC Russia also reports that pro-Russian channels have said Russian troops have left Izyum. Other channels reportedly said Ukrainian troops were already in the city’s centre.
Late on Thursday, US-based thinktank The Institute for the Study of War said it expected Kupiansk to fall within 72 hours, and that its recapture would “severely degrade” Russia’s ground lines of communication to Izyum.
An intelligence update published by the UK ministry of defence at 6am this morning said that Russian forces around Izyum were “increasingly isolated” and that Ukrainian units were “threatening” Kupiansk.
Claims that the cities have been recaptured have also been shared online by multiple analysts and journalists covering the war in Ukraine. The Guardian has not been able to independently verify the claims.
Ukrainian forces in Kupiansk, say officials
Ukrainian forces have entered Kupiansk, according to officials.
A photo posted to Twitter by the Ukrainian security service showed a group of troops gathered round an armoured vehicle.
A caption said that Kupiansk “was and will always be Ukrainian”.
“We will free our land to the last centimetre!,” it added. “Let’s go further! Glory to Ukraine!”
I imagine that the Putin regime is about to borrow and dust off the old Nazi propaganda term of a “strategic and orderly retreat” to explain why enemy forces are getting closer to Russia’s borders.
IIRC someone in Germany wrote that they knew that the Allies were winning because the “victories” kept getting closer.
Here you go.
One of the many traits fascists across history are lacking in is originality.
Russia confirms Izyum retreat
The Russian ministry of defence has confirmed the retreat of Russian forces from both Izyum and Balakliya.
In a statement published by state media outlet RIA Novosti, the ministry claimed a decision had been made to “regroup the Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions” and “step up efforts in Donetsk” so as to “achieve the stated goals of the special military operation” and “liberate” the Donbass.
It also claimed that a number of “distraction and demonstration events” had been staged in order to conceal the “real actions of the troops” and allow the withdrawal.
Well that explains that. Nothing to see here!
I won’t try to keep up with everything that’s happening. For the latest unconfirmed claims about Ukrainian advances try WarMonitor3.
Great line. I wonder what the average Russian citizen’s impression of current events is like today.
These past two weeks, and the past couple of days in particular, have been wild. Haven’t heard so many good news from Ukraine since the Russians were beaten away from Kyiv in March.
Though there’s an important difference between then and now. It was already evident since the earliest days of the war that the Russian offensive towards Kyiv was more incompetent and broken compared to the other advances, and even as the northern front collapsed it was clear that Ukraine still had a big problem in the south where Russia was advancing and consolidating.
Now, on the other hand, it doesn’t look like Russia is doing well anywhere. While the catastrophic collapse of Russian lines is (so far) limited to the front near Kharkiv, there is no sense that this frontline was somehow exceptional or that Russia still has untapped potential elsewhere.
It really feels like this is the pivotal moment that marks the beginning of the end for this war. It may not necessarily be quick, but there is light at the end of the tunnel in the direction we’re headed now.