Observations on the war in Ukraine – the South III

A few days ago I noted that the presence of a destroyed supply column near Voznesens’k, NE of Mykolayiv, indicated that heavier forces had to have been ahead of it. There has since been video evidence that this force was destroyed. This was confirmed by geolocation, and there are at least 3-4 destroyed/abandoned main battle tanks, a number of trucks and APCs, all with the ‘Z’ marker. Below video footage. There was another picture of a damaged tank that I can no longer recover, which shows a blown bridge at Voznesens’k as well.

So this should settle the question of the original larger force at Voznesens’k, comprehensively. It appears the Russians then pulled back, and as their other attempt towards Kryvih Rih was also stopped at Bashtanka to the east, there was mainly fighting around Mykolayiv proper, with an attempt to envelop the city from the north, which also failed.

Situation March 4. Google Maps, author creation
Aftermath of fighting at Voznesensk.
Aftermath of fighting at Voznesensk

It appears that a new push is now underway, which would be the second attempt to get through to Transdnistria, and envelop Mykolayiv and cut off Odessa. At the same time, Russian forces are reported to be on the advance also north-easterly, toward Kryvih Rih, as I would have expected. This push is expected to be aimed to link up with a push coming from the Kharkiv direction, aiming at Dnipro. This would cut off the Ukrainian forces fighting on the line of contact in Donbass.

How these attempts shake out will have to be seen. The Russian army’s inability to take defended cities would argue that they cannot really control/cut Ukrainian supply lines. Nevertheless, as over the last week, watch what is going on in the south. This is now a more active theatre, and it is likely that the Russian forces here have regrouped and are now able to push forward again.

https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3425298-ukrainian-defenders-holding-back-enemy-advance-in-southeastern-direction-general-staff.html

Ukrinform’s status update indicates that fighting is taking place in a wide zone north of Kherson. Clashes are reported from Voznesens’k to the approaches of Kryvih Rih, to the small town of Novovorontsivka, south of Kryvih Rih, on the northern bank of the Dnepr. It appears that rather than concentrating on a deep thrust into the Ukrainian rear, there is an attempt by the Russian commanders to hammer at a wide front, opening up their options for a north-bound advance from Kherson. Having failed to take/hold Mykolayiv, there is not much more they can do. In my opinion the advance on Voznesens’k is on a hiding to nothing if the Ukrainians don’t give up Mykolayiv.

I am not convinced yet by General Mick Ryan’s view on Twitter that the commanders in the South maybe better at what they do than those in the north. They did the easy bit, capturing the left bank of the Dnepr river, quite rapidly, fair enough, but since then have been bogged down at Mariupol and Mykolaiv, and repeated strikes north failed completely with the destruction of what was sent there. This has become a war of attrition, and I have my doubts the Russians can win this on the battlefield.

Situation 10 March. Based on Ukrinform reports. Google maps, author creation.

Evidence of ongoing fighting at Voznesens’k. Use the hashtag #Вознесенск on Twitter.

Drone strike on moving Russian armoured fighting vehicles near Voznesens’k
Street fighting in Voznesens’k

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