Slowly the Ukrainians continue to regain their country – Behind The Black – Robert Zimmerman

In the two months since my last update on the Ukraine Way in September, the steady and continuing retreat of the Russians has continued, with the Ukrainians last week finally retaking all the territory north of the Dnipro River, including the city of Kherson.

The two maps to the right, created by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and simplified, reduced, and annotated to post here, show these gains, with the top map from their September 11, 2022 analysis and the bottom from their November 16, 2022 update. Pink areas are regions controlled by the Russians. Blue areas are regions retaken by the Ukraine. Red-striped areas are regions captured by Russian in its 2014 invasion. Blue-striped areas are regions inside Russian-occupied territories that have seen strong partisan resistance.

Overall, the military actions of the Russians have continued to be haphazard, poorly thought out, and inexplicable, as they have been from the start of this war. For example, even as the Ukrainians were continuing their steady gains in the north, the Russians seemed relatively uninterested. Instead, it continued its attempts to gain ground in the middle, near Donetsk, as indicated by the two green circles. The Russians have been attempting for months to make gains in this area. Though they have captured some territory, those captures have been tiny and very costly. Nor have these captures done anything to impact the Ukrainian gains elsewhere.

Similarly, after each major Ukrainian victory, the Russians have responded by launching a fleet of missiles and drones at scattered targets across the Ukraine, attacking its major cities such as Kiev (or Kyiv in the recently imposed more politically correct spelling) as well as much of its infrastructure. While intended to invoke terror and lower morale, these missile attacks have instead solidified the Ukrainian determination to fight, even as the attacks contributed nothing to the Russian military effort…..

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