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Everyone is fixated on American deliveries of ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine, but with limited numbers available in U.S. stocks, the impact of those deliveries might be welcome, but marginal. Ukraine’s biggest challenge at the moment is breaching Russian defensive lines, and they have a potent new weapon to make that happen on the way.
This, dear friends, is one of the most complex strongholds located in the Robotyne-Novoprokopivka area. A complex system of trenches-tunnels, dugouts, firing positions, to which the Russian invaders cling with all their might.
What we see first. A system of trenches and firing positions. According to the results of observation and tracking of the movements of equipment and personnel of the occupiers, we confirm the routes of movement and approaches to the positions.
In general, these routes should be obvious, but of course all the information must be studied and the information verified. Therefore, such a formalism. Next, we see how these positions are equipped from above. We see that the dugouts are covered.
Some trenches are covered from above along a long length. Perhaps these are not tunnels in classical sense, but technically they are. This is actually a trench-tunnel. They were designed to hide the number of personnel and movement in the trenches.
With the help of aerial reconnaissance, we determine not only which route the occupiers enter/exit. We find the entrances/exists of this strongpoint/trench system.
A little more about ‘tunnels.’ According to the soldiers of the frontline units, there is a classic tunnel here. Under the road that leads from Robotyne to Novoprokopivka. It connects both flanks of this system.
Moreover, we also know that dugouts have been dug here, which are actually a second subterranean floor, going deep into the ground. While we were waiting for shells, the occupiers were digging. And they dug long and deep.
After fierce battles and artillery shelling, our artillery ‘opened’ the dugouts and covered trenches. After that, it became clearer how much more difficult the task is.
What’s even more, in the area where the main entrance to these positions is located from the west, only after intense artillery fire it will become clear to the untrained eye how well some of the trenches-tunnels on this side were camouflaged.
Occupiers successfully used the windbreak to prepare and conceal these positions. It requires us to conduct very thorough and vigilant intelligence. They know what we are interested in and are making efforts so that we cannot conduct it well.
Here is the full video, in which those trenches are being targeted by both conventional and cluster artillery munitions:
In the video, you see three Russian soldiers enter the dugouts. It doesn’t take that many Russians to man these positions. And ferreting them out is costly whack-a-mole work. This is why it’s so bizarre that Russia insists on counterattacking lost territory out in the open, where it’s easy for Ukrainian defenses and artillery to mow down the invaders. A few soldiers hiding in these trenches, moving back and forth via underground tunnels to wherever Russian drones tell them Ukraine is advancing, is far more problematic for Ukraine than yet another Russian Zerg rush against Ukrainian positions.
ATACMS doesn’t solve these trenches. Those missiles will be helpful in attriting Russian logistics and command and control, but it doesn’t take much logistics to supply a handful of Russians huddled up in a trench. And it certainly requires no command and control to have them sit there.
F-16s also don’t solve those trenches. They’ll have other key benefits, but moving the front line forward won’t be one of them.
But there is a new weapon on its way, and it portends great things for Ukraine.
Every month, OSINT analyst Thomas Theiner digs through a monthly Pentagon supplemental report in which they request funding to replace equipment and munitions sent to Ukraine. This month’s report has over $600 million for M2 Bradleys, which at $5.5 million a pop, suggests Ukraine may be in line for another 110 Bradleys. There is $187.4 million listed for a classified missile delivery which likely refers to ATACMS. At a bit over $1 million each, that would mean Ukraine might be getting 150 or so of them. There are also a whole host of air defense radars for Ukraine that are likely bolstering defenses ahead of the expected Russian winter campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.
But this is the most exciting notice in this month’s report: the Pentagon has signaled that Ukraine is receiving $134.5 million in M1147 rounds for Abrams tanks. Those are brand new Abrams munitions, specifically designed to either penetrate reinforced defensive positions or rain shrapnel on entrenched infantry.
I haven’t been able to find exactly how much each one of these rounds cost, but the most advanced and difficult to manufacture depleted-uranium rounds cost $10,000 each. More conventional rounds cost between $1,500 and $4,000 each. So let’s say, worst case, these new M1147 rounds cost $10,000, that is still 13,450 rounds. I would guess they cost less.
The US has committed 31 M1 Abrams to Ukraine, so we’re maybe talking 434 of these specialized rounds per tank? Frankly, that seems excessive. My guess is that this signals that more M1s are on the way. And while they may not be needed for non-existent tank-on-tank engagements, the ability to deliver this kind of specialized anti-trench fire from as far as three kilometers behind the front line will make them a deadly addition to Ukraine’s innovations on combined arms warfare—that is, Ukrainian artillery and armor soften up Russian defensive positions until their infantry can approach and hold.
He’s a real piece of shit:
There is one side that is obsessed with Ukraine as a matter of revenge, and that is Donald Trump and his cult. You know conservatives—every statement is an admission. This is Vance admitting that his interest in supporting Russia over Ukraine is all about 2016.