The opening days of Ukraine’s offensive in the South towards Kherson seemed to be directed ultimately at driving into Crimea where Russia hasn’t had six months to position troops and fortifications. This initial attack may have been a feint to draw Russian forces to the South away from the actual objective, Kharkiv. In the last 24hrs Ukrainian forces have made an armored supported attack in the North in the direction of Izyum and Kupinsk. and are driving towards Severodonetsk. The Ukrainians used tanks and armored personnel carriers in approximately regimental strength to drive on the town of Balakleya following a prolonged artillery barrage. Izyum sits on logistics and communications lines to Kharkiv. To give some idea of how badly things are going for Russia in this sector, the Ukrainians managed to capture a live Russian LT Colonel, for once.

A Lt Colonel would be the commander or the executive officer of a battalion-sized formation in the Russian army and would not be alone. He would have a staff of other officers assigned to him, so he may not be the only officer they scooped up.  We note that he is injured on the bridge of his nose and his unit insignia and name tapes have been removed from his uniform.  He may have tried to get rid of them himself to try to evade capture or Ukrainians took them upon capture. We do not make him as a regular Russian army or local militia officer but as an officer of the Rosgvardia which is a kind of internal security force Putin set up in Russia that answers to him and only to him.