Day 524: Aug 01
Today there is a lot of news from the south. First of all, today, Ukrainian forces conducted a devastating HIMARS strike on 5 Russian camps on the Dzharylhach island, which is in front of Skadovsk. Apparently, the recent drone strike on Crimea revealed a weakness in Russian air space, and Ukrainians found out that they could operate in the sky in the deep rear quite freely. A Ukrainian reconnaissance drone operator flew by the southern shore of the Kherson region and identified a relatively big Russian base on the Dzharylhach island. The operator found out that Russian forces felt quite comfortable and relaxed. And this is not surprising as the base is located more than 85 km from the contact line on the opposite side of the Kherson region. Even though they dug the trenched along the shore, nobody really expected a large-scale amphibious operation in this region. That is why Russian soldiers felt safe and accumulated a lot of trucks and equipment in plain sight.
But this is not the biggest mistake Russians made. Since the base is far from the front line, Russian commanders took a chance to exercise their authority at the expense of operational security by assembling everyone outside every morning. Ukrainian drone operator witnessed precisely that and marked the precise areas that all 5 Russian detachments used every morning to assemble in lines. This was a fatal mistake as today in the morning, Ukrainians waited until all Russian detachments assembled outside and eliminated all 5 detachments virtually simultaneously. Next, it seems like Ukrainians decided to take out equipment as well. The total Russian losses are estimated to be up to 200 soldiers. Russian sources circulated the footage and blamed the Russian commanders for keeping their pre-war and bureaucratic mentality. Russian analysts viciously critiqued the responsible people who got everyone killed, including themselves.
Speaking about bad practices, Russian forces continue losing a lot of troops and equipment by continuing to use big columns near the front line. 2 weeks ago, Ukrainians spotted a Russian column near Ocheretuvate, which is only 15 km away from the hottest part of the front line. Ukrainians swiftly conducted a strike and destroyed the whole column. Russian sources published footage showing the aftermath of the strike and confirming that there was nothing left. Interestingly, 2 weeks prior to that strike, Ukrainians destroyed another Russian column on the same front. Geolocated footage shows that Russians lost 7 trucks loaded with ammunition and possibly personnel. So, every 2 weeks, Russians lose their forces in bulk because of the refusal of Russian commanders to adjust to the realities of war. Some said that if 17 months of war and dozens of such cases did not teach them anything, then they are unlikely to adjust their practices in the future.
Today Russian sources also reported that Ukrainians conducted another marine drone strike on the Russian warships. This time the target of the strike became 2 Russian patrol ships that are blocking access to the Ukrainian harbors and preventing the export of grain. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Ukrainians attacked the ships with 3 drones and that Russians successfully destroyed them with machine guns. Some less prominent Russian sources mentioned that Russian soldiers on the ship claimed that catching drones was tricky, and one of them was shot down only 200 meters from the ship, so if they detected it half a minute later, there would have been a high chance that the kamikaze drone would hit the ship.
Finally, today another explosion happened in Sevastopol. If the previous explosion that happened several days ago was made by saboteurs who set explosives on the Russian ammunition depot, then today’s explosion happened in the aftermath of a successful drone strike. Russian military and media once again tried to restrict access to the area and reported that all drones were shot down. Unfortunately for Russians, the mushroom of smoke from the explosion could be seen miles away. The head of Sevastopol claimed that the drone was intercepted and that all facilities are intact, and that the smoke that people saw was just from the burning grass. Ukrainian sources reported that, judging by the footage, Russian lost another ammunition depot.