A Russian train carrying troops and equipment to bolster positions in southern Ukraine was blown up by US-supplied precision missiles last weekend, killing dozens of soldiers and destroying many rail cars, according to Ukrainian officials, who released satellite images of the attack site to support their claim. support.
At the same time, Russia attempted to renew its diligent effort to advance into eastern Ukraine, once again covering the front with overwhelming artillery fire as it tried to reposition ground forces to advance.
On several fronts, the Ukrainian and Russian military tried to dictate how and where the battle would take place. A lot will revolve around which army succeeds.
For the Ukrainians, this means attacking the Russians where they are weakest on both the Eastern and Southern fronts, using the same tactics they used in the early months of the war to keep the Russians away from Kiev and other cities. and villages in the region. north.
For the Russians, that means using the kind of brute force that has destroyed many of the cities now under their control.
Our coverage of the war between Russia and Ukraine
As more Western long-range weapons have arrived in the country, Ukraine has increasingly been able to attack what military analysts call a “deep war” by attacking Russian command and control centers, hitting key supply routes, in a attempt to isolate Russian troops in pockets, and engage Ukrainian guerrillas behind enemy lines in the south to assist in attacking Russian positions and sabotage.
Last weekend’s attack on the train was the latest in a series of strikes that have disrupted Russian logistics efforts and caused serious casualties.
“According to intelligence data, all the drivers and engineers of the Russian railway company transporting military cargo from Crimea to the Kherson region were killed,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Ministry, said Monday morning.
While his specific claims cannot be independently verified, video of an explosion and satellite images of the aftermath provided evidence that the Ukrainians hit a Russian train along one of the two main railway lines running from Crimea to southern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military said on Monday it had destroyed at least 15 ammunition depots in southern Ukraine alone — many of the attacks captured on video — in recent weeks, forcing the Russians to use surface-to-air missiles to hit ground targets. The Pentagon said last week that Ukraine was using Western weapons to increasingly devastating effect.
The Ukrainians have become very effective at finding and killing Russian command and control centers and destroying large amounts of Russian equipment, a senior US Department of Defense official said Friday.
The exiled Ukrainian governor of Kherson, Dmytro Butrii, said on Monday that some 46 villages in the province had been liberated, but some had been almost completely destroyed and were still under Russian shelling.
The Russians have shown that they can still cause widespread death and destruction with the vast arsenal they still have at their disposal.
The use of overwhelming force has been at the heart of Russian military doctrine since Soviet times. The advances made by their forces in the eastern region of Luhansk this spring came only after Russian artillery had effectively reduced the cities to rubble.
“Their tactics remain much the same as during the hostilities in the Luhansk region,” Serhii Haidai, chief of Luhansk’s regional military administration, said Monday.
He said that the Russians made daily attempts to launch an offensive against the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, but had so far failed to breach the main Ukrainian defense lines.
Russian forces in the east — and in certain parts of the south — were also rallying troops to try to advance along various lines of attack, Ukraine’s military high command said. While Western military analysts think Russia is unlikely to succeed in attempting to capture large new swathes of territory, the Ukrainians should respond — and influence how quickly they can mount a counter-offensive in southern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government has expressed growing confidence that as long as the West continues to supply the weapons it needs, Ukraine can win the war. But Kiev also needs to convince a war-weary public and Western allies to be patient.