Its been a few months since I wrote about events on the frontline, but nothings changed.
Just written all the below and then went to check on the frontline. Ukrainian military report Russia’s forces have today shelled civilian areas near the Zolote disengagement area in Ukraine’s Luhansk region. Several houses and cars hit by mortar fire, resulting in one civilian casualty. This could have been a whole lot worse if more people had been out and about.
Russia’s forces (RF) are going through the now routine cycle of first increasing their fire, then reducing it. None of it serves any strategic military purpose whatsoever. It’s a relatively small number of artillery & mortar shells fired towards Ukrainian lines, + odd guided anti-tank rocket fired at transport trucks/bunkers and use of lighter arms & sniper fire. This isn’t preparatory shell fire for an offensive or even a serious effort to destroy Ukrainian positions, this is Russia cynically wanting to continue the conflict. Putin doesn’t want the firing to be too heavy, as that would attract the worlds unwelcome attention, so the rate of fire is kept ticking over, with occasional bursts of heavier fighting. Any damage inflicted by Ukrainian return fire is duly used by Russia’s propaganda machine to claim Ukraine’s doing all the firing. And so it goes on…
Over the last few weeks, along with the usual mortar fire, RF have also used 122mm artillery. Again, this is not heavy, prolonged shelling, but these heavier caliber shells can inflict substantial damage on both military defences and civilian areas. Last week saw several Ukrainian soldiers killed and a good many wounded. One of the disadvantages of the conflict having gone on for so long, is RF know exactly where Ukrainian positions are, making it easier to target them. However, this knowledge works both ways and Russia’s cannon fodder forces usually pay a heavy price for inflicting Ukrainian casualties. And so it goes on…
Current state of play is – RF have reduced their firing since last weekend. So, we’ll probably see a lull, with some provocation targeted firing designed to provoke Ukrainian return fire and the inevitable increase.