до свидания = Dasvidaniya (Goodbye)

If I were a Russian General, I’d be taking off my rank, retiring at a high rate of speed, and heading out to my dacha somewhere deep in the Ural mountains. These guys have a shorter life expectancy in battle than a flamethrower operator during World War II.

The late Russian Major General Artem Nasbulin. My apologies for the image quality. For whatever reason, it’s hard to get a clear photo of this man. Image Credit: thedailymail.com

Russian Major General Artem Nasbulin was reportedly killed in a HIMARS artillery strike recently near Kherson in the south of Ukraine. Ukrainians have been making excellent use of the US-provided HIMARS in recent days, striking multiple command centers and Russian ammunition resupply points behind enemy lines.

The Russian 22nd Army Corps in Ukraine

Artem was acting as the Chief of Staff of the Russian 22nd Army Corps when multiple rockets impacted his headquarters. The 22nd Army Corps are the coastal defense troops for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, and they played a significant role in the initial invasion of Ukraine.

They are headquartered in the Crimean city of Simferopol and comprised of the:

  • 8th Artillery Regiment
  • Surface-to-air Missile Battalion
  • 1096th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment
  • 127th Reconnaissance Brigade
  • 4th CBRN Protection Regiment and,
  • 126th Gorlovskaya Guards Coastal Defense Brigade

Back in late April of 2022, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense sources reported that “in connection with the unsatisfactory fulfillment of the assigned tasks,” the previous commander of the unit, Major General Arkady Marzoev, was removed from his post and replaced with Nasbulin.

Well-known Ukrainian journalist Viktor Kovalenko tweeted shortly after the event:

“Ukraine military claims that they eliminated one more Russian military General (Gen. Maj.) Nasbulin, chief of staff 22nd Corps (Crimea). He’s one of 150 confirmed dead Russian servicemen from recent HIMARS strikes on command posts & ammo depots in occupied Kherson province.”

This dramatic tweet purports to show the US-supplied rocket systems being used to good effect after targeting a Russian storage facility in an unspecified location.

Video courtesy of Twitter and @bayraktar_1love

Russians Have Taken Note of the American Weapons System

The Ukrainians have become excellent at efficient utilization of the US-supplied HIMARS, carefully selecting high-value targets. Knocking out command and control elements as well as enemy resupply points will serve to greatly hinder the forward movement of Russian forces.  From up to roughly 50 miles away, the rockets can strike their targets within a meter or two of their aiming points. Russian military bloggers sharing their information on Telegram comment on the fact that their air defenses have not been able to stop the rocket attacks.

One in particular, Roman Saponkov, a Russian blogger embedded with Russian forces, notes that the HIMARS projectiles can “land on a penny.” In a recent Telegram post, he said,

Russia Fakes HIMARS Destruction, US, Kyiv Refutes Report

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“Yesterday, I happened to witness a HIMARS strike on Chernobayevka in Kherson, practically in front of my eyes. I’ve been under fire many times, but I was struck by the fact that the whole packet, five or six rockets, landed practically on a penny.”

Saponkov added, “Usually, MLRS lands in a wide area, and at maximum range it completely scatters like a fan. It makes an impression, I won’t dispute that.”

I won’t dispute that either. He may want to steer clear of pennies in the foreseeable future.