DISCLOSURE: Sourced from Russian government funded media

Russian-led forces suffer heavy losses attempting river crossing near Severodonetsk

…via Southfront

Update published on May 14, 2022

[ Update: Politico has run a feature story on this river crossing incident using the drone screen shots that Southfront used.

The Russian pull out from Kharkiv continues under the justification of using the troops that had been there to ‘protect supply lines’, but did not say where. Were these inside the Russian border which Ukraine has been attacking, or are they to support the Donbass supply lines, where last time I looked they were all inside safe rear areas?

Not mentioned is that once the Kharkiv Russian forces are pushed out, most of them can be redeployed as reinforcements into the Donbass theater.

It is looking like the chances of capturing an army in a cauldron in the East are a myth, as modern technology with drones and super accurate weapons systems have pretty much eliminated surprise ambushes and large lightning armor maneuvers on the flanks.

I see an attrition war developing, where NATO is going to match its 15 to 1 superiority to Russia’s. NATO troops have been in Ukraine for years, not counting the NATO intel people, and more will be going there to bolster the Ukrainian forces.

The term ‘fighting to the last Ukrainian’ is not a figure of speech. It is NATO policy to using proxy stooges to fill the coffins. Westerners volunteer to be financially bled to death as long, as they don’t have to see flag-draped coffins, the kind that undermined the Vietnam War… Jim W. Dean ]


[ Editor’s Note: This will be a classic combat story from this war, Ukraine’s rivers, which can determine who wins and who loses in mechanized warfare. It appears the Russians, to avoid civilian casualties, are picking more isolated spots for crossing, which makes them stand out more for drone surveillance.

When you add in the time to put pontoons across, especially the three that seem to have been put here, bunched up and offering not only a huge bridge target, but the gathering of armor staging to cross, you become a dreamed of target by your opposition.

The Ukies seem to have had time to bring in long range artillery staged in various positions, not massed so as to offer a rich target themselves, and harder for the Donbass Republic forces to locate and then eliminate.

I continue to be surprised how armored groups continue to bunch up like this, a dream come true for the opposing side. With these pontoon bridges being so easy to take out, that greatly increases the risk that a large force that got across could then not be resupplied or get needed reinforcements, with bridges destroyed behind them.

Here is Defense Intel’s video analysis out of Singapore per commenter below. My comment would be his mentioned of this event not affecting the Russian offensive conflicts with weeks and weeks of reporting of the expected ‘cauldron’ battle where the Ukrain army in North east Donbass would be destroyed to the point of combat ineffectiveness.

But what we have seen is a quite slow process which generally we have viewed as to the Russian approach of wanting to keep combat loses as low as possible, in men and material.

So Defense Intel mention of this event is not is a stretch. The Russian gains are coming slowly, and there might be others reason for that. We have this week seen Russians retreating out of Karkiv from a Kiev offensive to the border for the media coverage that would bring.

Or maybe it is a feigned retreat to stretch these forces out and then counter attack and capture or wipe them out. There is typically not a one big day event where something like this would happen.

That said, the slow the campaign in the East goes the more time for NATO to arm Kiev, as are more of the EU countries. So we also have a weapons supply war going on. NATO has cleared out its old stuff and will have to started drawing down on it NATO defense stockpiles.

We see Russia having invested a lot of effort to blow that stuff up to avoid depleting it during battles where it absorbs losses. As the famous military saying goes: “The issue is still in doubt.”

This is the kind of thing that happens when armies have not been in active large scale combat situations for a long time. This is why military commanders in the West love to jump into ‘small wars’ with little chance of reputations being harmed, so the troops and officers can get some live fire training. It makes all the difference when a bigger war comes.

The photos below are about as big a disaster as I can imagine. If it is a counter battery inability or failure, in that the ones they had were being used somewhere else, what was learned here is that such crossings should never be attempted without recon assurances that enemy artillery cannot quickly bring them under bombardment.

This incident will be used in Russian officer school training for many years… Jim W. Dean ]

Jim's Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal
Jim's work includes research, field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving & more. Thanks for helping. Click to donate >>

First published May 13, 2022

The Russian-led forces are aimed at surrounding the Ukrainian grouping deployed in the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk region in the Luhansk People’s Republic. Despite the recent successes on several front-lines in the region, the Russian and LPR military are stuck in the town of Bilohorivka located to the west of Severodonetsk.

The joint forces continue unsuccessful attempts to cross the river of Seversky Donets and gain a foothold on the left bank. According to Ukrainian military sources, 5 attempts of Russian forces to cross the river were thwarted.

The Russian-led forces attempted to establish at least three pontoon crossings from 7 to 11 May, which were destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

As a result of the shelling, the Russian-led units suffered heavy losses. According to the drone footage from the spot, 73 units of Russian equipment were destroyed, including:

  • 38 infantry fighting vehicles;
  • 4 armored personnel carriers;
  • 6 T-72 tanks;
  • 3 trucks ;
  • 4 MT-LB (fully amphibious auxiliary armored tracked vehicles);
  • 2 boats;
  • 5 machines for the construction of pontoon crossings;
  • 1 armoured recovery vehicles;
  • 9 other armoured fighting vehicles.

Meanwhile, LPR forces with support of Russian units including the Special Force reportedly launched an assault on the city of Severodonetsk. The Allied forces are advancing from three directions from the north. Clashes broke out on the outskirts.

During the retreat of the AFU, the bridge between Rubezhny and Severodonetsk was blown up. At the same time, the roads leading to Lisichansk are almost under the Russian fire control. Fierce battles are going on in Belogorovka and Shepilovo.

LPR forces are storming Privolye. The offensive from Popasnaya continues in the direction of Kamyshevakha. There are battles for control over the villages of Orekhovo and Toshkovo.


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.


  1. Mr Dean,
    Footage is Russian MOD, appears that the pontoon bridge and all those destroyed vehicles are Ukrainian assets, hope this link works’, Right click to translate.
    “The Ministry of Defense of Russia published footage of the destruction of the pontoon crossing and the unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that attempted to cross the Seversky Donets.
    During the reconnaissance and search operations of the motorized rifle unit of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the crew of an unmanned aerial vehicle detected a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on infantry fighting vehicles that attempted to cross the induced pontoon crossing.
    Russian motorized riflemen adjusted the artillery fire on the guided crossing and armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which took refuge in the forest, the department said.
    Artillery fire completely destroyed the pontoon crossing and sank. The enemy armored vehicles with crews that managed to cross the pontoons during the battle were destroyed by fire from Russian artillerymen and crews of infantry fighting vehicles. Part of the armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was seized by Russian servicemen. Also on the opposite bank, armored vehicles and equipment of the pontoon and bridge unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed during an attempt to withdraw.”…


  2. METHODICITY is Putin’s secondary name. Say what you will, but a method, a system, has its virtues. Putin is methodical both in peace and in war. Methodicality in everything is the essence of meritocracy.

    • That´s why one should doubt any picture that came from the war! Give a better look to some of the vehicules and you will notice that some are toretless without any mark of shelling, the one´s that amount in a group should have been shot by the best soldiers since they didn´t miss a shot an no mark´s of burned or exploded tank´s, only litle burned one´s.

  3. Thanks for the Saker source. Now the mystery is why the Russian command did not supply their response earlier. But that said, they are in a fast moving battle and can’t be everywhere at once, but that is what staff officers are for. They are supposed to be catalogueing for history the battlefield data every day. Anyway, if the battle moves forward eventually press people will be on scene to report on the evidence from the ground. The comment boards have always been for having more eyes and ears on what is going on, and the additional background experience that some have. Or as Hillary would say, “It takes a village”.

    • As well, Jim, why did VT not confirm the story outright? Does VT have or not have Russian sources? Alexander Mercouris also reported this initially as a valid story. But as soon as he was informed this was Ukr supplied intel, he quickly responded to that and informed his listeners that this could in fact be false. This is a responsible journalist doing the right thing. As well, he apologized and promised to do better. He took the hit and did not lay it off on others. SF has not as yet admitted that this is from Ukr sources. In their reporting on the Moskva, they stated that there is NO proof of Ukr involvement in the sinking, no proof of anything more than the Russians reported, yet in the end they stated it was a missile attack by Ukr…even though there is no proof whatsoever to the allegation…and don’t think that they didn’t hear about it either. That the Russians, when asked, revealed this was a Ukr failure, not Russian, is illustrative of the lack of due diligence by SF and done right by The Saker. Something that could have been confirmed from Russian sources if asked. This may sound like dissing VT, but VT is in a position of being relied on for accuracy, not innuendo, rumor or gossip…unless described as such. If we didn’t believe VT, we wouldn’t be here. While this article is not accurate, I do not believe it is malicious, just careless. The comments here were first rate, as these pics were inspected. The most obvious? No ‘Zs’. That alone is a red flag, no?

  4. I’m surprised the Russians aren’t carpet bombing the Ukrainians.
    But clearly the Ukrainians are putting heavy weapons in the cities and pointing them outwards, using U.S. provided intel.
    In that case, you surround the cities. Nothing in, nothing out.
    I’m sure in the case of Kharkiv, if that’s even a target for Russia in this phase, they will require more troops.

    • Anthing too rash could tigger NATO going in. He knows that and so does NATO. NATO would love that, and the media everywhere would be screaming for it.

    • Can’t risk the planes. NATO would love to decimate the Russian airforce. The US has said last week the goal is to wreck as much of the Russian military as possible, at the lowest cost and no American military casualties. This is proxy warfare on steroids.

  5. UkrPosition of the buildings and HV power poles (direction of wires) do not match the google map. Where these pictures have been taken from – “Bilohorivke”.

    There was an attempt for AFU to cross the river near Izuimainian military sources” According to Ukrainian military sources”

    Have you ever seen such carnage without a single crater on the ground?

    About the “5 attempts”, wouldn’t the 1st one be enough to fail, identify enemy positions, and use artillery and aviation to clear the path so that the 2nd attempt was successful and not done under heavy fire? Drones? “Modern technology with the drones.”

    Or is this image, if real, more like what it looks like when you have no air superiority, inferior artillery, and are trying to escape heavy shelling?

    I guess the image editors forgot that detail…

    And burned vehicles under trees with green leaves?

    Looking at the images again, where are the bodies?

    Just go on UAWeaponst tracked twitter there is the video too.

    Am I to be convinced that a well prepared army that advances everyday in Donbass and hits targets all over Ukraine, got hit like that 5 times in a row, without a single successful attempt to destroy the Ukrainians with the ATGMs on the other side of the river? The same Ukrainian army that, near Kiev, wasn’t even capable of hitting a 60 Km column of standard transportation trucks that were stopped in the middle of the road?

    • No one with standing has debunked it, and they would have a great incentive to do so it they could. So this is just one event like so many others that will be whizzing by us and remembered by few a month from now.

    • “”No one with standing has debunked it, and they would have a great incentive to do so if they could.””

      I don’t know what “with standing” means, but no one with the BIG paychecks wants to challenge it.

  6. fake, debunked river-crossing BS! VT, don’t publish CNN level BS here… you’ll lose many readers.

    • It’s just news, something that gets reported every day during a war, so live with it or don’t read it. There is no way to figure up what your approved media is before hand, from SF or any of the many other platforms. The main reference point we have is the total black out in the West on any reporting about the two fake Minks agreement, the US coup in 2014, the planning and prep for it taking years, and then the 8 years of shelling the Donbass perimeter with 14,000 causualties that Western and basically worldwide media has airbrushed out of the story. If you want to be the new critic I suggest you move up the line to th MSM and national press offices to ask your questions.

    • Gosh Irani, no one has ever mixed us in with these platforms before. You must be smarter than all of us put together. Where do I send a check to to support your instant analysis work?

    • No media is independent, and no media tells the truth, they always bring up a mixture of truth and lie, VT, RT, CNN, NYT, WP, and so on,,,,,,,,,,
      Some media say thousands of Russian soldiers are getting killed, some deny it, some hate PutIn, some worship him, there’s no way to find out the truth in the war time, cause no media is honest.
      The best medias are the ones that lie “less” and hide “less” things,,, cause 99.99% of medias lie and hide at some levels,,,

    • See Jim, you should not mind my words, you have so many writers here, some are really good and honorable like yourself, and some write as bad as CNN reporters, when you all are publishing your articles on “one platform”, your platform becomes untrustworthy to me, I did not mean that VT lies as much as CNN, of course not, I just meant that if VT ” has” some really good articles, it doesn’t mean that “all” of its articles are good and based on truth, anyway all medias “hide” some issues, and VT can not claim that it hasn’t happened.
      And you know that I’m not wrong, am I?
      The worst mistake someone can make is to “fully” trust on a media.
      I wasn’t talking about you or this article, I meant the whole VT, as a network.

    • Jim, VT is honorable and of course better than 99% of other American medias, and I do respect (most of) its writers, but still not “perfect”, that’s what I’m saying.

    • When it comes to the media, no one is always right. Some are purposefully wrong, SF (and VT) have published questionable stories before, but hopefully without malice. But this story, along with the Moskva story is illustrative of rumors, misinfo and propaganda gone wild. Not only that, but in the grand scheme of things, this incident, even if it is being reported accurately, which is doubtful as these pics were released by Ukr…in the long run means absolutely nothing. It will not hinder the progress of Russia/LDPR. This also is not the first failure of river crossing by both sides, the tactic itself is a dangerous undertaking. This is essentially a nothing-burger…a desperate propaganda effort and should be assessed as that. We all might wait until Russia addresses this incident to get the other side of the issue, instead of going with Ukr supplied pics and story. How many other ‘Russian disasters’ weren’t?

  7. Russian mechanized forces have become a laughing stock in the eyes of western military strategists!
    Russia is totally ill-prepared! Now Russia is getting bogged down everywhere with huge casualties and destroyed inventories. 3 months on, only a small patch of Ukrainian eastern territory is under control.
    Beside the pathetic performance of the mechanized forces, Russian airforce too is a a joke! To this day, Ukis still manage to conduct air raid against the vodka drinking idiots!
    With additional NATO weapons like the Howitzer 155mm and killer drones, more blood is going to be wasted! Russia can’t fight! They have become the joke of town!

    • @Victor, which is worse? Ukie cannon fodder having their asses handed to them by what you’re “trolling” as an incompetent laughing stock? Or a Spike heeled, leather bikini wearing coke head dancer/failed actor sending them to their death by the thousands?


    • @Victor Jnr: What the hell is vodka!? Are you friends with your own head in the morning during a hangover? If you’re such a cool general strategist, tell us how it should be? Did the Russians shit themselves there? Name me at least one army in the world capable of such large-scale maneuvers. Not brigades, but armies! This incident still has no actual confirmation. And if you prove a fait accompli, I’ll admit it. For 70 years, no one has fought like this in Ukraine. It’s not like you’re chasing Papuans with aircraft carriers. Ukraine is a strong country in military terms: territory, troops, mentality of soldiers. You tell me personally – did you serve in the army? Country, military profession, rank? Or are you just pouring shit on the fan against the Russians? Just wondering.You mentioned vodka and Russians. This is a modern moronic stereotype. Especially with regard to the military.

    • Seems to me you’ve drank you share of vodka yourself. Where do you get your BS? CNN, BBC or Fox? I was hoping that VT would remain a troll-free area, but I guess not. I should have realized that when a site has to be marginalized, the first attack wave is through trolls. Hello, troll. I know that shekels are everything to you, but you might want to tell your handlers that it is a wasted effort here. I mean, you could get a lot more mileage on a CNN comment board…oh, my bad, they don’t have one, do they? Hey, try Breitbart, they’re open for business. As for being the ‘joke of the town’, what town is that? Clown capital Kiev?

  8. Sorry, I’m going to have call this another BS propaganda piece by the NATOstan alliance which needs media victories badly since the campaign on the ground is getting worse by the day…ex. clearly identifiable videos of dead and mangled Ukie soldiers everywhere on the battlefield. Then, when you have CIA-Mossad propaganda outlets that pose as “military defense sites” such as DifesaOnline in Italy that post this story immediately as do all the mainstream media newspapers that are towing the Globalist US-GB-NATO narrative to the letter, well, the Bull-shitometer goes off the chart. Other “defense sites” such as “Army, Navy, and AirForce Recognition” based in Brussels for the matter, have become nothing but propaganda mouthpieces for NATO.

  9. Well, June 6, 1944, Omaha beach, D-day, of the 29 U.S. M4 Sherman DD amphibious tanks launched from the sea, 27 sank in six-foot Sea’s, only two made it ashore…Lesson learned, the war went on…


  10. Regarding comment of no shell holes. The Ukraine army has been using anti-armor ‘droplet’ bombs that explode downward in the air, as they takeout personnel also in trenches. We can’t tell from the photo if a missile like a Tochka was used on the triple bridge structure.

    • I don’t believe that the UK would just transfer their most advanced technology to the Ukrainians at the border. This is possible symbol of UK involvement in the war the US should not come to the aid of the UK if the idiots in the UK are taking out armored columns in Ukrainian territory.

  11. Could be staged for the Western audience, or it’s possible that the UK operators used advanced munitions multiple targeting armor killers they were talking about sending.

  12. Defense Politics Asia guy from Singapore did good analysis of those photos of the river crossing.
    Lots of tanks and trucks not destroyed that are supposed to be for example.
    Could simply be getting ready for another crossing, and clearing stuff away. You can see people walking around.
    Modern warfare is mostly done with missles and drones targeting artillery and missles strikes very exactly.
    The Russian troops and tanks are there to mop up, occupy, control and “groom” the population of territory captured into becoming allied. Different than Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, wars.
    Lebanese war where Lebanon defeated Israeli invasion via superior Hezbbollah missles maybe some warfare similar to this – massed troops and tanks a thing of the past to win battles – the missles will always win against tanks and troops.. And again troops and tanks there to mop up, occupy, control and groom population into becoming allied with Russians which isnt that hard since that territory already Ethnic Russian that has gone through 8 years of ethnic cleansing campaign sponsored by USA.
    Here is link to Defense Politics Asia about this river crossing.

  13. “José Oliveira
    Reply to good4u
    7 hours ago
    “According to Ukrainian military sources”

    Have you ever seen such carnage without a single crater on the ground?

    I guess the image editors forgot that detail…

    And burned vehicles under trees with green leafs?

    About the “5 attempts”, wouldn’t the 1st one be enough to fail, identify enemy positions, and use artillery and aviation to clear the path so that the 2nd attempt was successful and not done under heavy fire?

    Or is this image, if real, more like what it looks like when you have no air superiority, inferior arrillery, and are trying to escape heavy shelling?

    But didn’t the Ukrainian sources said Russia had a problem while advancing?

    And isn’t Russian advancing slower in order to minimize casualties?

    Ukraine is always the first to post videos of victories filmed in real time, but with such a “victory” and so many attempts, it’s only capable of showing still images of the aftermath?

    Looking at the images again, where are the bodies?

    Weaker vehicles are almost full, but tanks are so destroyed that the turret is missing?

    So many inconsistencies. “ I agree with this commenter that it could be Ukoprop. Is there anyone on the ground who can confirm this?

    • D’accord. I wouldn’t trust any news coming out of Ukraine unless Zelenskyy himself delivered the news wearing blood red stiletto’s and playing piano with his Johnson.

    • I kinda agree w this game boy photo opps…

      i THINK it was vasily who crossed that river in WWII.. it was in russian cimena called Batallions Ask4 Fire(film); where he sent batallions south to draw german fire/fite to the last man.. vasilly crossed further north.. i jst don’t see the russians getting suckered into that type of adventure w/o spottong down to the last cannon 2 return fire (this time)

      the other feature missing – is the big bluffs that the russian preffered to attack and overwhelm by taking control of the hi ground to move in their mechanized rifle units/tanks..

      that could B real photos or a exercise where the pontoons are being towed bak to shore for removal

    • Yeah all we got is Satintel and you know how reliable that is at times. Anyone remember “Satintel” showing the Iraqis amassing at the SA border that never happened?

  14. The man who wrote the book on river crossings under fire (without air cover or telecommunications) was your friend and mine, Mao Zedong.

    His Battle of the Four (count ’em) Crossings is one of the great feats of military morale.

    No wonder Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (who was given command of two US armies when they got into trouble) rated Mao as one of the greatest commanders in world history.

    Jim: want an article on this deliberately overlooked chapter in military history?

Comments are closed.