The Russian Armed Forces continue their successful offensive in the Donbass. The Armed Forces of Ukraine had to leave the settlements of Mayorsk and Pavlivka. The Bakhmut agglomeration has been liberated almost completely, and the Russian troops can now move on.
According to November plans, the following settlements are going to be the next goals:
The Russian troops are currently located in the area of Kleshcheevka, Yakovlevka, Andriivka — they have regained control over the region almost entirely.
According to experts from the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrainian troops tried to carry out counterattacks, but to no avail.
Experts note that after the appointment of General Sergei Surovikin as the Commander of the joint grouping of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, the interaction between various branches and types of troops, as well as between different groups, has become much better. Along with offensive operations, Surovikin is also busy strengthening Russian defences.
Deputy Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Brigadier General Aleksey Gromov, believes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine already find themselves in a critical situation. As many as 500 military clashes have occurred in a week with Russian troops advancing and Ukrainian troops defending.
The Russians do not hide their plans.
The ultimate goal of the offensive is to expand the de-occupied zone, secure Donetsk from shelling by moving the border further away, strengthen the defence along the Dnieper and move further.
The command plans large-scale operations that can begin both in winter and spring.
Much will be decided by weather conditions. There are, in fact, only two options:
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are accustomed to winter weather. Almost all old-timers are familiar with winter conditions on the battlefield as the armed conflict in Ukraine continues since 2014. However, Russian strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure nullify all attempts to organize logistics. The destruction of logistics hubs, railways and bridges across the Dnieper will become a catastrophe.
Most Russians are not vulnerable to winter cold either. The russian troops have stable supplies, including winter uniforms and personal heating equipment.
"I think we should expect a winter escalation of hostilities. We will definitely see it either in December or early next year. There is no reason for a break. Russia will build up forces at the front — only a small part of the mobilised has been deployed to the zone of the special operation yet," Vasily Kashin, the head of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics said as quoted by 3MB.
"The costs of the United States to finance the conflict in Ukraine are going to rise sharply, and there will be no positive returns for America. Ukraine will be gradually ground down. The damage that has been done to Ukraine cannot be repaired in any reasonable time,” he concluded.
The West, together with Ukraine, quickly forms a strike corps in order to enter Crimea or cut off the Donbass from Russia