July 17, 2022
By Olena Skomoroshchenko
Head of SDPU Secretariat,
One hundred and forty-fourth day of the War
Today is the day of the downing of Malaysian Boeing flight MH17. It is a day of mourning in Ukraine. Today we remember those hundreds of citizens of different countries who became completely innocent victims of Moscow imperialism and showed us that war is a universal phenomenon, it affects everyone and everyone's life, regardless of the circumstances and the country, can be destroyed suddenly and just like that. Because someone wants to be the ruler of the world and for everyone to be afraid of him. Eternal memory to the innocent victims.
Unfortunately, I no longer have time to write to you every day or even once a week, because there is more and more work that needs to be done to overcome the War. Therefore, instead of informational Chronicles of War, analytical ones are already published. So, today it can be said with a high degree of probability that the second phase of the War has come to an end and has its results. The enemy army began it somewhere in mid-April, as a second offensive attempt after the failure of its blitzkrieg and the first attempt from 15 directions to simultaneously capture all of Ukraine, especially Kyiv. After they had to flee from Kiev, Chernihiv and Sumy, they revised their previous goals of the War, as they had failed, and declared new ones - to limit themselves to Luhansk and Donetsk regions, freeze the conflict and continue to prepare a new attempt to capture Ukraine and Kyiv in a few years.
Today we have the results of this phase. Yesterday, for the first time in its daily report, our General Staff stated that the enemy did not manage to advance even 1 meter in any direction. In parallel with our General Staff, two more institutions share their assessment of what is happening with us on a daily basis - British Intelligence and the Institute for the Study of War. They are usually more optimistic and not as stingy and strict as the General Staff. That is, these two institutions confirm the same thing. So, this allows me to assume that the enemy has exhausted its offensive potential and is on the defensive. That is, we are now in the third phase, when both sides have not moved and are in positional defense. This is the general framework of the situation.
If you look through the prism of events, the main thing that is happening now is that a new priority has been added to the usual tactics of our army - thanks to the allied supplies of high-tech weapons, primarily the Himars MLRS, the systematic destruction of the enemy's rear ammunition and fuel depots in the deep rear of the enemy at a depth of 6-70 km. And in almost two weeks of this consistent activity, the situation at the front changed. So far, the enemy has outnumbered us due to superior numbers, especially in artillery. Their tactics are the tactics of a avalanche of fire, which destroys everything in its path, leaving behind not ruins, but the desert, and due to this, they displaced our troops, who, as a result of this avalanche of fire, found themselves on bare ground, where there was no longer any place to defend. The avalanche of fire was created by firing 65,000 shells per day at our positions. After a week of Himars' work, they were already firing 45,000 shells a day, and from yesterday they began to starve of shells. And that's why our forces are almost equal. Because usually we had only five for their hundred shells. In some areas, when they fired 1,500 shells, we had only 50. The system work of the Himars made corrections in this state of affairs.
In general, it was magical. It started from the city of Krasny Luch, Luhansk region. There, for 8 years, they accumulated warehouses of ammunition and fuel and lubricants, in order to then bring them to the front 50-60 km from it, because ordinary guns can reach only 20 km, and therefore they thought that nothing threatened their warehouses. And those Himars who work at the front get 70 km. The fireworks turned out to be incomparable - eyewitnesses reported that the mushroom from the explosion rose 12 km in height, because several thousand tons of shells and fuel exploded. It was reported that they detonated these munitions almost all day, which is not surprising, because in our temporarily occupied territory since 2014, they created not just warehouses, but entire military hubs. Then it happened in Alchevsk, Kadiivka and several other cities of the Luhansk region.
The same thing happened in the same hubs already in the Donetsk region - in Donetsk, Snizhne, Shakhtarsk and other cities. But the destruction of enemy warehouses with ammunition took place not only in the territories occupied 8 years ago, but also in the newly captured ones - primarily Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdyansk, Nova Kakhovka and Kherson. Two weeks of this work created a new quality. And the enemy found that he had nothing to compensate for this, he had no tools capable of stopping the destructive activities of the Himars. According to open data, about 30 such mega hubs and about 20 smaller warehouses were destroyed in these two weeks.
Behind the warehouses and in parallel with them, our Armed Forces began the destruction of the enemy's command posts and headquarters, of which approximately five were destroyed in full during this time in all currently active areas of the enemy's activity - in the east, in the southeast, in the Izum area, in Melitopol, Nova Kakhovka and Kherson and of course in Chornobayivka, how could it be without it - it's a classic! During this time, three more Chornobayivkas took place - 25, 26 and 27. And along with them, barracks with enemy personnel. So, in Kherson, in the very center of the city on Pestelya Street, the entire command of the 20th motorized rifle division of the enemy's 8th army was destroyed - the division commander, his deputy, the chief of staff, the chief of the operational department and a bunch of other senior officers were eliminated. And now our Armed Forces added to this the hunting and destruction of enemy air defense systems, which also proved to be defenseless against our use of allied high-tech weapons. Now the enemy has no shells, no fuel, no command, no air defense. And this, in sum, somewhat equalized our balance of power and qualitatively changed the situation at the front. Although there are still a lot of them, physically a lot.
Of course, the enemy's reaction to his defenselessness and helplessness was quite expected and, unfortunately, it is also a classic. They compensate for their inability to achieve success at the front with rocket attacks on civilian objects and especially places of concentration of the civilian population. As a result, after the epic shooting of the shopping center in Kremenchug two weeks ago, grocery markets began to close in Kyiv during the air raid warning and the same all over the country. And following this Kremenchug terrorist attack, last week they exceeded all their previous achievements with a rocket attack on the town of Chasiv Yar near Bakhmut, where two residential buildings were demolished and 47 people died at once. The day before yesterday, there was an equally impressive shelling of the center of Vinnytsia - the central square, the shopping center, the hospital and the Officers' House - more than 30 dead, they are still looking for bodies under the rubble, so there is no exact number yet. There were 5 missiles, 3 of which were shot down by our anti-aircraft defense, and two did what happened. Among the dead were 4 children. Two boys, 7 and 8 years old, were burned together with their families in a car that was driving on the square, four-year-old Lisa died immediately, and her mother Irina's leg was torn off, and the doctors are fighting for her life and are deceiving her that Lisa is also injured, because the girl was a sense her life. Lisa`s photo went viral on the Internet and, perhaps, we were all most impressed by the reaction to it of the citizens of the Russian Federation, who spoke enthusiastically and approvingly of the girl's death, commenting on it as "disposal of bio-waste" and demanding that such strikes be carried out every hour. All of Ukraine cried over the fate of the poor mother and all others who suffered the same fate. To give you an idea of the force of this blow, one car was thrown onto the roof of a high-rise building by an explosive wave. Well, actually, this is the war philosophy of our enemy - he is not waging war against our army, but primarily against civilians. They have such a style and appropriate aesthetics.
If we talk about the standard and daily operational situation, the border areas of Chernihiv and Sumy regions are shelled every day. More goes to Sumy - it is bombarded not only with mortars, guns and MLRS, but also with combat aircraft - helicopters. In the north of the Kharkiv region, a positional balance was established - they stopped our advance from Kharkiv to the border with the Russian Federation, about two weeks ago, pushing us back to our previous positions, which enabled them to shell Kharkiv not only with MLRS, but also with guns, an opportunity that they had lost after our counteroffensive in May, and now regained it. Almost 20% of Kharkiv has been destroyed, but the city continues to live and work, albeit largely in basements. But city transport and metro, shops and hospitals and some enterprises of the city are working.
At the hottest point not only of the front, but also of the War - in the east - is also unchanged. After a two-month effort and thousands of casualties, they took Severodonetsk, a little faster - they took Lysychansk within a week, because they used new tactics. They refused to storm the city, as they stormed Severodonetsk head-on, but bypassed it from the flanks and so that our troops would not be encircled, our General Staff gave the order to leave Lysychansk. And although it has been a week since Shoigu reported to Putin about the final capture of the Luhansk region, our troops continue to hold two towns in the region - the legendary Bilogorivka, under which on May 2 they tried to force their way into Siverskyi Donets and lost 90 tanks and about one and a half thousand personnel, who had already entered the military annals. And the town of Krasnokamyanka is also held by our troops. At least this is what the Head of the Luhansk military-civilian administration, Serhii Gaidai, said today, although on various maps this territory is already painted in the color of the enemy's troops.
In the Zaporizhzhya direction - no changes. Except that the enemy began systematically shelling Nikopol, which is located on the opposite bank from Energodar, only 7 km away. Moreover, the anti-aircraft missile systems that fire at the city are installed right on the territory of the nuclear plant, so that we do not shoot back, because so that they do not talk about us there, they themselves know very well that we do not shoot at such objects, as well as at residential areas and civil infrastructure. Neither our own nor someone else's. We are people.
The same is true on the Kherson and Kryvyi Rih directions. Formally, nothing happens. Although the partisans in the Kherson region are giving nightmares to the occupiers, at this moment almost the entire composition of Gauleiter-collaborators who began to cooperate with the occupiers is either in the grave or in the hospital. The recent shelling of the barracks and the enemy command in the center of Kherson led to the fact that they fled from the building of the regional administration, fearing that we by Himars were shelling it. In general, thanks to Himars, a strong panic was added to the usual demoralization of the enemy, which in turn terribly increases the degree of terror against the local population, on which the occupiers unleash their anger. And they say that after the de-occupation of Kherson, it is not known how many Buchs we will see there. As you know, the President of Ukraine a few days ago ordered the General Staff to develop an operation to liberate the south of Ukraine. I think that such an operation has been developed for a long time and, I hope, we are on the eve of its beginning, which is also known to the occupiers and also makes an impression on them, increasing panic.
Mykolaiv is being bombarded madly. Almost as terrible as Kharkiv. Every day and night - systematically and massively. Yesterday, for example, they bombed a hospital and two of the city's most important higher educational institutions - Mykolaiv Shipbuilding Institute and Mykolaiv Polytechnic Institute. And such a chic and southernly charming city! With very friendly people. Vitaly Kim, the head of the regional administration, constantly calls for evacuation from the city. But people go reluctantly. By the way, of those 6.7 million Ukrainians who sought refuge from the war in Europe, 3 million have already returned and this process continues. Ukrainians are returning to Ukraine.
And the last, southernmost point of the front is Zmiiny Island. We managed to finally smoke out the occupiers from there and install a large Ukrainian flag there. Although our command does not intend to host our garrison. After all, the island is under cross fire control. It is important for us that there is no enemy there, who, thanks to Zmeiny, kept under their control the entire northwestern water area of the Black Sea and almost the entire south of Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. The enemy finally came to terms with this, because his planes periodically fly in to bombard the equipment they left there, fleeing the island in a hurry. By the way, thanks to this, the mouth of the Danube was unblocked and, in particular, our Bystre mouth, through which the export of our grain has already begun in order to prevent a world food crisis. And negotiations in Istanbul regarding this became possible. This is what the life-giving Himars did. And it will continue.
Everything will be Ukraine!?>
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