The Russian-Ukrainian War of 2022 (News and battle updates)



The Russians Continue Grinding​

7 May 2022 by Larry Johnson 31 Comments

If you are looking for a TV show ending to the war in Ukraine, this is not the place for you. This piece is written with the intent of trying to give you a variety of information that is not being reported on the mainstream news channels, western and Russian.

I want to start with the commentary of Austrian Colonel Markus Reisner, which coincides with my own recent analysis:

Without a functional air force and the capability to maneuver artillery and tank units, Ukraine is confronted with a war of attrition that it cannot win. Ignore the military activities and focus on the economic reality confronting Ukraine. Their ability to produce and export grain (a critical source of foreign exchange) has been damaged severely. Ukraine is no longer able to rely on container ships importing and exporting critical goods. Ukraine cannot replace this with truck convoys from Poland. At this point, Ukraine is like a soldier with a bleeding femoral artery. Death is just a matter of time.

Yep. Myself and an Israeli journalist on my discord server (Dude is basically a closeted hardline right winter type), were discussing the issue. Where we came to an agreement is that all of these notions of Ukraine suddenly pushing back and winning are pure fantasy absent Ukraine successfully establishing air superiority. At the moment Russians have air dominance and there isn't any way for Ukraine to change that without direct NATO involvement.


Liman update

For the past three days, the front in Liman has froze. Since about May 6, the allied forces haven't been able to advance beyond the lines they have reached. The reason is simple - forest fires.
The scale is clearly visible on satellite images:

Smog clouded the streets of Kramatorsk, which is relatively far from the front line.
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Liman update

For the past three days, the front in Liman has froze. Since about May 6, the allied forces haven't been able to advance beyond the lines they have reached. The reason is simple - forest fires.
The scale is clearly visible on satellite images:

Smog clouded the streets of Kramatorsk, which is relatively far from the front line.

What's next? Poison the wells? Or maybe NATO chemtrail air support.


Breakthrough in northern Donbass - Russian troops crossed the Donets river near Belogorovka /halfway between Siversk and Lysichansk/

"It is reported from the field that the allied forces were able to break through the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Belogorovka area, forcing the Seversky Donets. Taking into account the offensive from Popasna, where the defense was also broken through, up to 8,000 Ukrainian servicemen entrenched in Severodonetsk and Lysichansk could be surrounded." - Russian TV correspondent Poddubny

"The loss of Belogorovka, coupled with the retreat from Popasna, creates a more than real threat to the Soledar-Lysichansk road, which supplies the northern part of the Donbass grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

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Quick update - conflicting reports

Russia - the bridgehead is secured
Ukraine - attack was repelled

Looks like that area is going to be heavily contested in the upcoming days.
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Odessa - Air raid: Zatoka bridge /again/, Artsyz airfield, Chervonoglinskoye airfield, warehouse /??/ in the shopping center "Riviera", and others
"At least 3 "Kinzhal" hypersonic missile (according to the Ukrainians) were fired at Odessa on a "tourist site". We give a hint: the tourist site was probably called “Apartments by the Sea”, and foreign operators of M777 howitzers were stationed there, which were planned to be transferred to the south of the region in order to hit the Snake Island with Excaliburs."

Cherry on top - "The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, was in Odessa today. Here he is, together with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmygal, taking a picture for European editorials from a bomb shelter during an air raid. You won't find a better location for PR."

Snake Island

- Russian MoD statement:
"Attempt to capture Snake Island
On May 7, on the direct orders of V. Zelensky, the Ukrainian General Staff, with the direct participation of advisers from the United States and Great Britain, planned a major provocation to seize the Snake Island.
▪️ Within 2 days, the Kyiv regime made several desperate attempts to land air and sea assault on Snake Island.
▪️ The Ukrainian provocation was thwarted. The enemy suffered heavy losses. During the period of repelling attacks in the Snake Island area,
4 Ukrainian aircraft were shot down in the air, including 3 Su-24s and one Su-27, 3 Mi-8 helicopters with troops on board, and one Mi-24 helicopter. Within 2 days, 29 Ukrainian UAVs were shot down in the air, including 8 attack "Bayraktar TB-2".
▪️ Also, during an attempted landing on the night of May 8, 3 armored Ukrainian assault boats of Project 58181 Centaur were destroyed.
▪️ Only during the landing and attempts to consolidate on the island, more than 50 Ukrainian saboteurs were destroyed at sea and on the coast. On the shore of the Snake Island, 24 bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers remained.
/Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/"

- There was another attempt today - "Today the aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not reach Snake Island. After the Onyx attacks on Chervonoglinskoye, the Ukrainian “dryers” /"dryers" - «сушки» - "sushki", so some kind of Su aircraft/ turned around halfway to the island.
From the jump site in Izmail, the aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were transferred to the north."

- "Russia has doubled the number of carriers of Kalibr-type sea-launched cruise missiles in the Black Sea" - Ukrainian Defense Ministry
"Last week there were 3 carriers of cruise missiles, their total salvo was up to 20 missiles. As of today, there are 7 Kalibr-type SLCM carriers in the Black Sea with a total salvo of up to 50 missiles" - the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

- Snake Island is now allegedly under the control of the Russian Armed Forces.

Izium front - Velikaya Kamyshevakha could be under control of Russian troops

"Military correspodents visited Velikaya Kamyshevakha, which is located on the most advanced line of the Izyum-Barvenkovsky direction. Slowly but surely, a cauldron is formed around Slavyansk."
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Belogorovka update

"Allied troops crossed the Seversky Donets River and entered the settlement of Belogorovka. Fierce battles were going on in the settlement throughout the day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to partially disable one of the crossings.
Active fighting continues in Privolye /Privillia/, Shepilovo /Shypylivka/, Belogorovka /Bilohorivka/ and Serebryanka /Serebrianka/.
Intense battles and artillery duels are going on along the banks of the Donets along the entire length of the Kremenetskiye Lesy National Park"



Gold Member
I think they will probably wait until the Donbass is completely cleared before taking Karkhov, because after that they can completely encircle the city. This is the Aleppo approach, the allies (Syrian army and Russia) encircled the city, established humanitarian corridors, took out the heavy armor and artillery, then waited till the fighters run out of ammo. At that point the majority of fighters just gave up.


I think they will probably wait until the Donbass is completely cleared before taking Karkhov, because after that they can completely encircle the city. This is the Aleppo approach, the allies (Syrian army and Russia) encircled the city, established humanitarian corridors, took out the heavy armor and artillery, then waited till the fighters run out of ammo. At that point the majority of fighters just gave up.
I won't speculate about motives, but I can say that:
- it's still just a few villages here and there
- there haven't been any operations against Kharkiv in a while
- there are no supply lines runnig through there
- troops left out there on guard duty are mostly rosgvardia/internal troops not frontline fighters
- as far as I can tell, they are pulling back / tightening the lines without direct contact with the ukrainians


The village of Solokhi, Belgorod region, Russia, was shelled from Ukraine, as a result of the incident, one person died and six were injured. This was announced on Wednesday by the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov - not a first attack on that area, but first civilian casualty on Russian soil.

TASS, May 11
"The governor of the Belgorod region announced the shelling of the village of Solokhi from Ukraine As a result of the incident, one person died and six were injured.
"There was shelling from the side of Ukraine of the village of Solokhi, Belgorod region. The head of the settlement is now at the site of the emergency," governor Gladkov wrote. - "The latest data on the victims from the Ministry of Health of the region: six injured, one dead," he said.
At the same time, the head of the region denied the information about the death of a 14-year-old boy, distributed in some Telegram channels. "The boy is alive and is in the regional hospital. He is receiving all the necessary medical care," Gladkov said.
The head of the region added that this case is the most severe for the entire period of shelling. He also said that due to the shelling, one residential building was partially destroyed. After the incident, photos appeared on social networks with smoke at the scene of the incident, according to Gladkov, it is due to reeds growing outside the village, houses in the village do not burn.
He stressed that he is in constant contact with the head of the village, fire brigades are working at the site of the emergency.
Later, Gladkov announced the evacuation of the villagers: "The population of the village of Solokhi will be taken to a safe place under the leadership of the head of the district, Vladimir Pertsev, and the head of the regional Ministry of Emergency Situations, Sergei Potapov," Gladkov wrote.
The Belgorod region is located in the south-west of the Belgorod region, bordering on the Dergachev and Kharkov regions of the Kharkov region of Ukraine. The distance from the village of Solokhi to the border is about 11 km."
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"Mini" map - Northern Donbass 11.05.2022
More detailed map file was to big to load, link -

Quick update:
Izium front - Velikaya Kamyshevakha is under Russian control. Fighting continues near Kurulka and Pashkove for the control of
Barvenkovo-Slavyansk road

Liman front - After a short break it's active again, Russian troops took some vilages, north of Liman - Shandrigolovo and Novoselovka.
And south of Yampil - Ozerne.

Belogorovka river crossing - It's contested... haven't seen proof of victory from either side

Severodonetsk-Lysychansk - Allied troops took control over Voevodovka, Zarya industrial area /north of Severodonetsk/ was cleared.
Fighting moved to a narrow zone between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

Popasna front - "After the capture of Popasnaya, the enemy's defenses were probed in the direction of Artemovsk /Bakhmut/ There are unconfirmed reports of a breakthrough in the enemy’s defense after an attack on the command and observation post of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the vicinity of the settlement. Part of the Ukrainian forces retreated in the direction of Loskutovka."
Allied forces advanced from Nyzhnie /Nizhnee/ - fighting in the area of Toshkovka
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Gold Member
Interesting take by Larry Johnson on the Kharkov front:

"What are we not seeing from the Ukrainians? No attacks by their fixed wing combat aircraft on Russian positions. No artillery barrages on Russian units attacking Ukrainian defensive emplacements. Ukraine is trying to use drones as part of their military operation but those unmanned aircraft are being shot down routinely by the Russians.

I am curious about the Russian’s apparent lack of concern about the Ukrainian military thrust north of Kharkiv. If the Russians were worried about those units being overrun a logical response would be to send reinforcements and concentrate air strikes and artillery in supporting their besieged units. Most of the western military analysts will probably leap to the conclusion that this is another piece of evidence that Russia is militarily incompetent and unable to sustain its forces in the field.

But there is another possible explanation–Russia is employing its own form of Muhammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope and luring the Ukrainians away from Kharkiv. Once there is distance between the city and the Ukrainian units attacking Russian positions, the Russians can strike in force, eliminate the Ukrainian threat and avoid a bloody battle for the city. Just one other scenario to consider."

That kind of makes sense, pull the Kharkov forces out of the city and out in the open, and avoid a much bigger Mariupol urban warfare situation.


Belogorovka update - since there's nothig coming out from Russian channels, I took a look at western assessments and found something from
Tom Cooper - an Austrian military analyst and author / he's pro-Ukrainian /

"Can’t help it: I’m still not happy with developments along the Siversky Donets. Therefore, here another ‘quick and dirty’ update, explaining the ‘why’.
The reason is…. well, a mix of ‘total silence at the top’ and ‘usual bragging at the bottom’ on the Ukrainian side.
To start with, nothing of the following is anything like ‘official’: at most, it’s a ‘collection of bits and pieces of information’, topped by plenty of deduction based on past experiences.
What I know about the situation by now is described on this map.
Here it’s worth paying attention at the following:
- Over a month ago, there was a similar situation south of Izium: the Russians attacked in a pincer movement around both flanks of the town. Breached through on the western side, threw two pontoon bridges over Siversky Donets, crossed the river and pushed forward.
- All the unofficial Ukrainian sources reacted with, ‘ah, no problem, we’ve destroyed them’, followed by photos/videos of ‘destroyed pontoon bridges & sunken tanks and other vehicles’.
- Now check the maps ever since: it’s obvious that was - at most - a temporary success. Actually, yes, they knocked out one bridge, but the
Russians used the other to keep on crossing and then kept on steamrolling further south. By now we all know how the battle went on and where they are (i.e. the RFA is certainly not back to Izium).

In the case of this ‘Siversky-Bilohorivka situation’, me thinks the situation is much worse. Reasons are something like this:
- AFAIK, all the available official Ukrainian sources are zip-lip about this battle, exactly like in the case of the Russian break-through south of Izium;
- all the available unofficial sources are talking about the destruction of one or two bridges,
- sole official release I’ve found is mentioning the destruction of just one bridge near Bilohorivka, while
- (unofficial) Russian sources are clearly pointing out they’ve constructed (at least) four bridges, and
- something like destruction of two crucial bridges is not mentioned by any of Ukrainian sources known to me.

Another reason to worry are UAV-photos. Arguably, they might indicate something like, ‘we have them in sight, everything is under control’. Sorry, having somebody/something in sight is one thing, actually destroying that somebody/something - an entirely different affair. On the contrary, gauging by the number of (perfectly intact) armoured combat vehicles that can be counted on these photos, it seems that the RFA is ‘coming down’ to just one bridge with an entire BTG (about 50–60 armoured vehicles).
And that is just one of bridges, and the one I’m assessing as ‘decoy’: keep in mind, there are three other such bridges.
Gauging by the number of bridges reported by Russian sources, this means the RFA has engaged ‘at least’ four BTGs for this operation — along a frontline of about 10km.

A quick look at the map is likely to explain everything else: a rapid advance from Bilohorivka to Popasna - a distance of about 45km by the road T1302 - would bypass Ukrainian fortifications in the Lysychansk area, and close the encirclement of a major group of Ukrainian forces in the Severodonetsk area. Indeed, it would collapse the entire northern sector of the LOC - or at least encircle it.
This morning there are reports about shelling of Hirske - which to me means: ‘something’s going on along that route’.
That’s why my assessment is that this - I’m calling it the ‘Russian Plan G’ the Russian ‘Schwerpunkt’, i.e. a major operation: one that should not be underestimated.
Conclusion is on hand: somebody there (in Kyiv) should be kind enough to clarify what’s going on in between Bilohorivka and Popasna. No, I’m not expecting ‘quick and easy’ victories, but simple acknowledgment of understanding that ‘something is going on’ and the situation is serious — would be of lots of help.
And yes, and, I do hope I’m completely wrong with all of this."

Take it with a grain of salt - western experts made a lot of wrong assumptions, this could be another... or not.
Also - he totally ignored Russians crossing the river in other villages of that area...


This is how Popasnaya looks from a drone now.

"The main objects of the city got on the footage of our military correspondents: the city council, station buildings, the market, the palace of culture and those very high-rise buildings around which there were heavy battles.
The Russian flag is clearly visible on the city council."


At least 2 bridgeheads were established by Russian troops west of Belgorovka, this was acknowledge by the ukrainians:
"In the morning summary, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russian forces were able to cross the Seversky Donets in the "Limansky" direction after several unsuccessful attempts earlier and are preparing a further offensive"


Belogorovka is still contested.
No updates on Russian crossings north-east of Belgorovka.

Popasna front - "Ukrainian sources report that the LPR army and the RF Armed Forces began to advance from the northern and northwestern regions of Popasnaya, advancing towards Kamyshevakha. The direction of movement towards Lysychansk and the Soledar-Lysichansk highway obviously poses a threat to the operational encirclement of the Severodonetsk grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since even today the main supply route of the grouping was under fire from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The battles for Toshkovka, which is being attacked from Nizhny, are also continuing."

Donetsk front - north of Avdiyivka

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