The festive long weekend for us on the Ukrainian-Russian front was marked by many events. The loudest was the drone attack on the Kremlin, but it is “only” a spectacular fireworks display. From the military point of view, the strikes on Russian fuel depots are much more important – the next one, extended over the weekend to sabotage activities on the tracks (blowing up tank trains in Belarus). Consistency can already be seen in the actions of the Ukrainians, aimed at paralyzing Russian logistics.
At the same time, I have an irresistible feeling of deja vu. A year ago, more or less at the same time, the action of “barbecuing” the Russian ammunition base began. In May, there were still occasional attacks, but “between June and August, we destroyed over a hundred Russian ammunition depots. We estimate that thanks to this, we deprived the Russians of at least a million artillery shells,” one of the senior Ukrainian military men told me just before the September counteroffensive. The destruction of bomb depots was a key task of the Ukrainian armed forces in the spring and summer of last year. It was then that the Russians tried to win the war with artillery, crushing the Ukrainians with artillery and throwing them out of the Donbass at first.
Thus, several weeks of “himarsing” – as the Ukrainian attacks on Russian warehouses were called – deprived the invading army of supplies corresponding to one year’s production. And this one too – it soon became clear – in practice it turned out to be a lame process. Already in the autumn of last year, the Muscovites began to run out of artillery ammunition, in the winter this shortage turned out to be dramatic. If we consider the reasons for the defeat of the so-called Russian of the winter offensive, “munition starvation” is one of the most significant factors. What is important, still occurring – the “second army of the world” was able to saturate with artillery only three dozen-kilometer sections of the front, and even in the “most exposed”, in Bakhmut, a constant shortage of shells was reported.
The insufficient supply of ammunition on the front line has one more reason – “himarsing” forced the Russians to move ammunition depots beyond the reach of Ukrainian launchers. Orc logistics is based on rail transport (which, due to the lack of tracks, cannot be implemented everywhere) – wheeled transport is insufficiently developed, which, combined with the poor quality and road network in Ukraine, only intensifies the problem. The 100-kilometre distance between combat units and bomb depots – although relatively small – becomes a great challenge. The point is to make it even bigger – so that the Muscovites lack not only trucks to carry ammunition (food, drink and all the rest necessary for the normal functioning), but also fuel for them. Fuel for the tankers that deliver oil to tanks and armored vehicles.
And that’s what the Ukrainians are all about. At first glance, the challenge seems breakneck. After all, in Russia – which is an oil tycoon – there CANNOT be a shortage of fuel. Is it? I would like to note that before the war, the federation was considered a power in the field of armaments production, which still did not protect its army from “munition starvation”. Of course, even the destruction of all Russian warehouses (and refineries!) within range of Ukrainian rocket artillery, unmanned aerial vehicles and sabotage groups will not “dry up” Putin’s army. But it will certainly put her in an even more difficult position.
“This is an announcement of a counter-offensive” – say specialists commenting on the Ukrainian attacks. Correct. But let’s not get over-enthusiastic (“that’s it! that’s it!”). Just like last year with cutting off orcs from ammunition, this year with fuel – we are talking about actions scheduled for long weeks …