Difficulties of the Second Phase of the Special Military Operation

NEW – April 30, 2022

Quite often we encounter a lack of understanding by ordinary people of what is happening at the front. In some ways, this is the fault of television experts, who for eight years have been spreading hooray-patriotism about “worthless Ukrainians”. In some ways, this is a banal lack of understanding of the specifics of military operations in the region.

In the Kharkov and Lugansk regions, the rate of advance of the allied forces remains relatively slow. In the south, in the Donetsk and Zaporozhia regions, progress is almost imperceptible.

Therefore, some people may have the erroneous idea that the second phase of the special military operation declared by the Russian military command has stalled.

However, this is not the case.

The main task of the second phase involves establishing full control over Donbass. And here it’s necessary to take into account several factors:

▪️The Donbass grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces consists of the most trained and motivated units, including those deployed from Western Ukraine.

▪️The enemy had eight years to think through and implement a deep-layered defense along the entire line of contact with the forces of the LPR and DPR.

The Ukrainian side deliberately does not evacuate the population from the war zone, using civilians as human shields. Evacuation is carried out only when military personnel are mixed with civilians in evacuation convoys.

All this, of course, complicates the main task of the second phase of the special military operation, but it does not make it impossible.

Currently, the allied forces are actively trying to break into the defence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in several places at once:

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▪️Progress in the Izyum direction is progressing slowly but surely.

The allied forces have completed the operational encirclement of Lyman: the entire area is under fire control of the Russian side.

▪️The battles for Rubezhnoye continue, where the enemy’s defenses are gradually being ground up.

▪️The People’s Militia of the LPR eliminated a powerful fortified area in Novotoshkovsky and advanced towards Orekhovo.

▪️The assault on Popasnaya continues: for a month and a half now, regular troops, “Kadyrovites” and “Wagnerites” have been slowly taking the city.

Popasnaya is called almost the Stalingrad of the current special operation. The comparison is overly pretentious, but still correct. Yes, there is a successful operation to liberate Mariupol.

But if we compare the scale of the forces and resources involved, as well as the prospects that open up for the operation, then Popasnaya is one of the critical points for the success of the second phase of the special military operation:

▪️The possibility of continuing the offensive simultaneously in several directions;

▪️Access to a major transport hub — the city of Bakhmut, the occupation of which will disrupt the supply of part of the UAF units;

▪️The possibility of creating several cauldrons with cutting off the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk grouping from the rest of the UAF forces in Donbass.

Realising these prospects, the UAF command transferred some units from the Rubezhnoye — Severodonetsk — Lisichansk agglomeration to Popasnaya. This made it possible to partially compensate for the losses suffered by the 24th Lvov mechanised brigade.

Although the allied forces already control most of the city, the assault on Popasnaya is still one of the most difficult operations for several reasons.

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Popasnaya’s difficulties

▪️The locality is located on a hill, where there is a whole network of natural water obstacles. This significantly slowed down the pace of the offensive in the first days.

▪️For 8 years, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have turned the city into a powerful fortified area, surrounding it (especially along the southern outskirts) with a system of platoon and company strongpoints, which are connected by communication routes. These communications make it possible to covertly transfer personnel and armoured vehicles to firing positions with the possibility of rapid withdrawal to shelters.

▪️The allied forces will probably deal with the elimination of strongholds, where the UAF units are now trying to withdraw from the city, after the liberation of the territory of Popasnaya itself.

▪️Most of the city is a private sector, where Ukrainian soldiers have dug trenches and equipped dugouts in the basements. Cleaning each house takes a lot of time and effort.

▪️In rare multi-storey buildings, units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces created positions for snipers and fire spotters.

▪️There are still civilians in Popasnaya, which does not allow the allied forces to fully use aviation and artillery.

So it turns out that the assault on a town of 20,000 people will take more time than the liberation of half a million Mariupol.

However, this operation is gradually nearing completion.


▪️Under the control of the allied forces is the entire eastern part of the city, the railway station “Popasnaya-1”, the building of the local administration.

▪️Several strongholds were eliminated around the city.

▪️The south-western outskirts are being refuelled and preparations are underway for an offensive towards the Popasnyansky car repair plant.

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▪️Military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces gradually understand the futility of further resistance and surrender in small groups.

The result of the liberation of Popasnaya will not be long in coming, and the second phase of the special military operation will go at a different speed.


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