Ukraine-Russia Conflict 2020 Update: Russian Convoy North of Kiev Dispersing

 Interesting developments from Ukraine in the last six hours or so. The 40km+long military convoy that had been stalled north of Kiev for a considerable amount of time appears to be breaking off and moving into assault positions. Recent satellite images reveal the convoy has dispersed and redeployed.  New Russian armor units have arrived around Hostomel airport and are maneuvering. Over the last week, civilian satellite images have been limited by heavy cloud cover over Ukraine. Today’s photos showed the convoy for the first time since Monday. Many types of US reconnaissance satellites are not affected by the limitations that civilian satellites are. Therefore, it is fair to say the US military and NATO have more current and in-depth images and other types of intelligence data and have painted a far clearer picture of what is happening to the north, west and east of Kiev.

For what it is worth, I would say this particular convoy was never stalled to the extent the media and many pundits and experts had hoped. Looking at the OSINT data tonight, it seems possible the Russians are finally establishing a supply chain and setting up forward bases in preparation for an assault on the Ukrainian capital. When this assault might come is anyone’s guess. There are still a number of factors which need to lean heavily in Russia’s favor for a successful siege or assault on Kiev to materialize.

Again, I feel compelled to point out that many of the glaring weaknesses that have become apparent in Russian doctrine, tactics, command and logistics, are weaknesses that AirLand Battle was designed to exploit. If the Ukrainian Air Force and Army had deep strike capabilities, the advance on Kiev from the north would have been turned into a rout by now. Perhaps that holds true for the push from the east as well. As it stands, however, Ukrainian forces are limited to small unit ambushes and drone attacks against Russian convoys and vehicle concentrations. These are hurting the Russians but have not ground them to a permanent halt yet and probably will not.

Author’s Note: Short post tonight. I’ll follow up tomorrow evening with a longer one on some aspects of the war in Ukraine. Then on Saturday, I’ll look at Russian airborne and airmobile troops before another D+21 entry on Sunday or Monday.

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6 Replies to “Ukraine-Russia Conflict 2020 Update: Russian Convoy North of Kiev Dispersing”

  1. That Convoy, or portions of it, is where in ’87 you’d have seen SEPACAT Jaguars, Panavia Tornados, and A10s all feasting after SEAD was conducted with A7s and F4s. Once the convoy survivors broke off and tried to dig in you’d be hitting them with brigade-sized forces in pincer maneuvers designed to chop individual segments up, cutting them off from each other, ruining their C&C.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you’ve all seen the footage of an ATM attack on a Russian tank ‘column’ with no apparent infantry screen or tactical spacing, and shots of multiple vehicles running on flat tyres. All armies have to painfully relearn basic doctrine at the start of every conflict, but so far this war suggests a combination of significant Russian overconfidence, incompetence and ineptitude at every level that must result in smoke bellowing from Zukhov’s grave. Seriously poor performance.

    Or am I a victim of superlative maskirovka?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think part of what we are seeing is the effect of conscript training by a semi-professional NCO corps led by a professional officer corps. A sound plan (once the initial rush of blood to the head was over) hampered by poor drills & skills

    Liked by 2 people

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