Ukraine update: Let’s check in on those Russian supply lines; and Lithuania stands up to a bully

After giving up on Kyiv, Russia still had designs on a full envelopment of the Donbas front lines, thinking they could trap a good 1/3rd of Ukraine’s army in a deadly cauldron. 

Map from April 10, when Russia thought it could push south from Izyum and trap a huge chunk of Ukraine’s army in the Donbas 

Russia expended a great deal of effort to both capture Izyum, and to flood it with the bulk of its army. It’s now been almost three months since Izyum fell on April 1, and Russia has pushed just 30 kilometers (~18 miles) south of town. Their inability to advance forced Russia to settle on the limited Lysychansk-Severodonetsk approach that has netted them the latter, almost the former, and trapped just a handful of Ukrainian troops. (Seriously, Russian Telegram paraded 10 POWs from their approach south of Lysychansk.)

So what happened in Izyum? The same thing that happens everywhere else where Russia tries to extend from friendly territory—it can’t manage its supply lines. 

Back when Russia was attempting that bigger encirclement, I laughed off the effort as ludicrous, making these maps in the first several weeks of April:

The idea being that Russia’s Izyum approach was exposed to flank attacks from the west—from the ground, sure, but more importantly, from Ukrainian artillery. How could Russia move significant forces south with artillery raining on its supply routes? 

I belabored the point day after day, making new maps to underscore it:

And really, that’s exactly what’s been happening all these months. And we have geolocated video showing exactly what that looks like. Here is a supply convoy north of Izyum:

Российская колонна нагло куда-то намылилась прямо посреди белого дня #RussianUkrainianWar

— Necro Mancer (@666_mancer) June 24, 2022

Here’s an equipment/supply depot of some sort: 

Artillery of the Ukrainian Airborne Assault Forces destroyed accumulation of vehicles in one of the directions of the front

— Paul Jawin (@PaulJawin) June 28, 2022

And here is the geolocation for both those artillery ambushes, with Izyum on the bottom right of the map, in white. 

And here’s a third video from the same area north of Izyum: 

🇺🇦👊Артилерійські підрозділи ДШВ та Сухопутних військ ЗС України продовжують знищувати військову техніку російських окупантів🔥💥

— Аслан (@antiputler_news) June 29, 2022

That Izyum salient is critical for any Russian assault on the twin fortress cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, yet Russia is struggling to supply its advance under constant Ukrainian artillery barrage. The appearance of HIMARS rocket artillery (and nine M270 MLRS launchers in the weeks ahead), will only make that more difficult. 


When Finland and Sweden announced their intention to join NATO, a furious Russia reacted with their usual threats. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov thundered, “We condemn the irresponsible course of the North Atlantic Alliance that is ruining the European architecture, or what’s left of it. I have a great deal of doubt as to whether the upcoming period will be calm for our north European neighbors.” The Russian foreign ministry warned that Russia would be forced to “restore military balance” if the two Nordic countries went forward with their NATO applications. 

And Russia wouldn’t be Russia without threatening nuclear retaliation. “There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic — the balance must be restored,” said Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin’s top lieutenant. Countries in the region literally laughed, pointing out that Russia already had nukes in the Baltics—in Kaliningrad. 

Finland, Sweden, and NATO ignored the threats and did their thing. Russia’s glee at Turkey’s recalcitrance was short lived, as those objections have now been dropped. And yesterday, forced to respond to the ongoing NATO summit in Madrid, Putin was forced to concede his impotence on this issue. (Statement below was run through Google Translate.)

The Russian Federation does not have any issues with Sweden and Finland that could bother Moscow in the event of their membership in NATO, the President of the Russian Federation believes. Russia will mirror the deployment of NATO’s military infrastructure in Sweden and Finland.

Russia had lots of issues, everyone ignored them, and now Russia needs to pretend that it never really cared. That’s how you stand up to bullies. Now we get to see Lithuania provide another lesson in handling Russian bullies: 

BREAKING: Sources confirm to Reuters that the European Commission, backed by Germany, is pushing Lithuania to remove EU sanctions on goods passing through to Kaliningrad. The EC fears escalation, but LT thinks that backing down to Russian threats would only embolden Putin.

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 29, 2022

Russia is threatening unspecified repercussions if a European Commission blockade of goods though Lithuania to the Russian enclave at Kaliningrad isn’t lifted. The EC now wants to cave, even though the sanctions don’t affect food or consumables like toilet paper. If Russia wants to ship construction equipment or other things that aren’t sold in a grocery store, they can use boats or planes. Otherwise, what are they really going to do? Trigger NATO’s Article 5 by making moves against Poland or Lithuania? Russia is already losing one war, it doesn’t have the capability to start a second one, much less wage it effectively. 

It takes a country like Lithuania, that has suffered for decades under Russian/Soviet occupation, to really understand both 1) the threat that Russia poses, and 2) how to best deal with it. Western Europe should be taking notes. 

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:45:17 PM +00:00 · kos

Russia quits Snake island. – Russian mil telegram: trying to retain control of the island under Ukrainian fire from French Caesar shore artillery was a suicide mission – Russian MoD: withdrawal is a voluntary gesture of goodwill to allow grain exports

— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant) June 30, 2022

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:45:48 PM +00:00 · kos

After Ukraine has defeated Russian invaders at the Snake Island, they present their retreat as a ‘gesture of good will’. They always downplay their defeats this way. Partners should not be wary of providing Ukraine with more heavy weapons so that we liberate more of our lands.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) June 30, 2022

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:47:44 PM +00:00 · kos

Looking at one of the Howitzers responsible for ridding Snake Island of barbarian trash, it’s kinda shocking that Russia would spend 5 weeks loading the island with advanced anti-aircraft systems, $15M Pantsirs, troops, boats…all within clear range of Ukrainian artillery.

— Jay in Kyiv (@JayinKyiv) June 30, 2022

Caesars have been spotted with long range shells with 40 km range, well within range of Snake Island. With a lack of functional Air Force able to project into Ukrainian airspace, the island was a sitting duck to these howitzers. Russia has no choice, leaving behind hundreds of millions of dollars in destroyed gear and likely dozens of lives. 

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:49:45 PM +00:00 · kos

Russia Twitter is having a meltdown. 

Zoka deleted his account.

— Mr Ghostly (@mr_gh0stly) June 30, 2022

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:50:41 PM +00:00 · kos

Feb 24 – “could control a lot of air space” May 13 – “Snake Island is a meat grinder for Zelenskys orders” June 30 – “it is a useless 500m island” Hahahah. I love this dude so much. His borderline insane ramblings and map drawings make me happy.

— Kemal (@kemal_115) June 30, 2022

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 2:51:57 PM +00:00 · kos

#Ukraine: As Russians rapidly withdraw from the famous Snake Island, the Ukrainian army shows how they regularly targeted it- here we see a Ukrainian-developed Bohdana 155mm self-propelled howitzer destroying Russian positions on the island with fire correction from a TB2 drone.

— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 30, 2022

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 · 4:38:06 PM +00:00 · kos

Holy shit. These are “let’s end this mf’n war already”

Video fragment of Biden’s speech from the NATO summit in Madrid. 50+ countries will provide Ukraine with: – about 140 thousand anti-tank systems -more than 600 tanks -almost 500 artillery systems -more than 600 thousand shells -advanced MLRS -anti-ship systems -air defense

— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) June 30, 2022