Russia Retreats From Lyman

Screen capture from Rybar

The Fall of Lyman

On Friday (“What Happens Next In The Ukraine War“), I shared a post from Russian/military history poster Sergei Witte detailing his predictions for the next few months in the Ukraine War. That was the second time I shared one of his posts predicting Russia would turn the tide in the war, and the second time Russia immediately suffered a setback, in this case the fall of the town of Lyman. To be fair to Witte though, he conceded this possibility in his most recent post:

On the whole, therefore, Ukraine’s window for offensive operations has closed, and what remains is closing quickly. The last zone of intense Ukrainian operations is around Lyman, where aggressive Ukrainian attacks have so far failed to either storm or encircle the town. It is still possible that they take Lyman and consolidate control of Kupyansk, but this would likely represent the culmination of Ukrainian offensive capability. For now, the area around Lyman is a killing zone that exposes attacking Ukrainian troops to Russian air and ground fires.

Sergei Witte on September 29th

Two days later, the Ukrainians took Lyman, as detailed by the Russian military channel Rybar in the video below.

Ukrainian sources claimed they had trapped 5,500 Russian troops there, but Russian sources claim there were only about 500 Russian troops there to begin with, and the paucity of Russian troops in the region helps explain why the recent Ukrainian advances there have been successful.

Russian Reactions

Perhaps the most prominent critic on the Russian side of Russia’s conduct of the war after the fall of Lyman has been the head of the Russian Federation’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov also led his Chechen forces in battle earlier in the Ukraine War. Below is a translation of some his comments on the fall of Lyman. Following that, I’ll close with a brief market note.

I have always said: there is nothing better than the voiced truth, albeit bitter, offensive, but the truth. This is the only way to move forward. Therefore, I cannot remain silent about what happened in Krasny Liman.

The defense of this section was led by the commander of the Central Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin. The same Lapin, who received the star of the Hero of Russia for the capture of Lisichansk, although de facto he was not there and was not around. Lapin was also given over to the troops of the Western Military District.

The colonel-general deployed mobilized fighters from the LPR and other units on all frontiers of the Liman direction, but did not provide them with the necessary communications, interaction and the supply of ammunition. Two weeks ago, Major General Commander of the Akhmat Special Forces, my dear BROTHER Apty Alaudinov, personally reported to me that our fighters could become an easy target. In turn, I informed Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, about the danger. But the general assured me that he had no doubts about Lapin’s leadership talent and did not believe that a retreat was possible in Krasny Liman and its environs.

A week later, Lapin moves his headquarters to Starobelsk, a hundred kilometers from his subordinates, while he himself sits in Lugansk. How can you quickly manage units, being 150 km away from them? Due to the lack of elementary military logistics, today we have left several settlements and a large piece of territory.

It’s not a shame that Lapin is mediocre. And the fact that he is covered at the top by the leaders in the General Staff. If I had my way, I would have demoted Lapin to the rank of private, would have deprived him of his awards and, with a machine gun in his hands, would have sent him to the front lines to wash away my shame with blood.

Ramzan Kadyrov, via his Telegram channel. Translation via Telegram.

Kadyrov closed his post by saying that if it were up to him, he’d consider using “low-yield nuclear weapons”. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

The Fall of Credit Suisse

In addition to the Ukraine War, another grim topic on Twitter this weekend has been the fall of shares of Credit Suisse Group AG (CS):

One way to quantify the risk associated with Credit Suisse is to look at the cost of hedging its shares. Compare the annualized cost, as a percentage of position value, of hedging it against a greater-than-20% decline over the next several months with optimal puts with that of similarly hedging JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM).

Screen captures via Portfolio Armor

As you can see above, it was about four times more expensive to hedge Credit Suisse than JPM on Friday.

If you want to stay in touch

You can follow Portfolio Armor on Twitter here, subscribe to our occasional email list here, download our hedging app here, or visit our website by clicking the image below.

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