#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Odessa and Kiev in the Dark. Operation WAGNER advances: Bachmut meat grinder

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Emergency power outages were again reported in Ukraine for the day of 29 November in Odessa, stabilisation outage programmes are not working, reported by Odessa Electric Networks, and more power outages in Kiev.

An air alert was also reported in the Ukrainian capital in the morning. From the Russian social sphere it emerges that if at the beginning of the operations there were more ‘adventurers’ among the mercenaries, now there are more ex-military professionals. It seems that Poles are in the majority. According to some social sources they are serving soldiers, it is not possible to confirm or deny this news. Many of them, however, are engaged in fighting in the Svatove-Kreminna direction.

In the meantime, the WAGNER operation ‘Bakhmut mincer’ continues. According to the social sphere of pro-Russian military analysts, the tactic of taking the city from the east was chosen not for a direct assault on the city, but to force the Ukrainian defences on the flanks, so as to cover the regrouping defending the city, and it is succeeding.

Russian troops occupied Odradivka to the south of the city, and then not only engaged in fighting for the fortifications of Opytne and Ivangrad (the latter has already been taken), but also began to develop an offensive on Kurdyumivka, which breaks the integrity of the Ukrainian front between Bachmut and Тorec’k. With the loss of Kurdyumivka, as well as Andriivka, Zelenopolya and Ozaryanivka, the situation for the Ukrainian troops in this area has been dramatically complicated, and Russian troops have been able to both develop the offensive south of Bachmut (including the direction of Časiv Jar), increase the pressure on Ukrainian troops near Тorec’k, and expand the zone of control towards Kostjantynivka.

According to the social sphere, an important role in achieving the Russian objectives of the offensive is played by artillery fire (including drone work and corrected fire) and the use of assault group tactics, which determine the outflanking nature of the advancing troops, threatening the flanks of the Ukrainian troops, thus minimising their own losses and maximising those of the Ukrainian army and mercenaries, as confirmed by both Western and Ukrainian sources. Hence the emergence of the term ‘Bakhmut mincer’. In essence, this section of the front has been methodically attacked by the Bachmut grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the foreign mercenary forces attached to it, making the battle very costly for the Ukrainians and forcing the Kiev command to move more and more reserves around Bachmut and Časiv Jar to reinforce the units and sub-units that are being lost in the battle. In essence, the enemy is presented with a choice: continue to tolerate the current level of losses while PMC Wagner’s assault groups cover the city from the south, or gradually withdraw from Bachmut, accepting all the operational consequences of such a move.

The Ukrainians for their part are intensifying offensive actions in the direction of the Svatove settlement. The Ukrainian forces, with several tactical groups of companies, are trying to break through the Russian defence line from three directions simultaneously. From the north, west and south of the settlement. Currently, unsuccessful and suffering losses, the Ukrainian militants are returning to their former positions. The heavy losses on the Ukrainian side are not only due to the battle but to the difficulty of exhiling the wounded. It seems that many of the wounded are dying not from wounds but from septicaemia or bleeding out.

In the late morning it was reported from social sources that Vuhledar had passed into the hands of DPR and Russian forces, Denis Pushilin, head of the DPR, gave the news. Furthermore, according to WAR GONZO war reporters, Russian armed forces have taken control of the Ukrainian armed forces’ supply route to Časiv Jar.

Graziella Giangiulio

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