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Frontline report: Ukrainians expand area of operation south of Bakhmut, continue to gain ground

Ukrainian counterattack south of Bakhmut. Map: screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukrainians expand area of operation south of Bakhmut, continue to gain ground
Ukrainian forces have made significant progress south of Bakhmut, with new footage showing them operating almost 3 km away from the May 9 positions and clearing Russian tree lines near Kurdiumivka.

Day 441: May 10

On 10 May, there was a lot of good news from the Bakhmut direction. First of all, more information became available about the May 9 assault on the southern flank.

Russians retreated in places up to 2 km near Bakhmut, Ukrainian commander says

On 10 May, it became clear that Ukrainians did not attack Russian positions in front simultaneously but rather started shaving them off from the corner near the forest. This explains how most Russians managed to run away before Ukrainians reached their positions. Russians would receive a message about the attack from one group, then lose connection, receive a message about the attack from the second group, and lose connection, and when they understood that they were next on the line, they would run away. Yesterday in the late evening, the commander of the 2nd battalion of the 3rd Assault Brigade reported that they managed to penetrate Russian defense by 2.6 km deep on a 3 km wide front.

Frontline report: Ukrainians crush Russian bridgehead in Bakhmut, send Wagner Group into panic

But it looks like this was only the beginning because on 10 May, Ukrainians released footage showing they are already operating almost 3 km away from yesterday’s positions, clearing the tree lines near Kurdiumivka. The video featured the same 2nd battalion of the 3rd Assault Brigade and showed how they approached the trenches under the cover of the M113. The fighters successfully suppressed the enemy fire and reached the enemy trenches. Since there were several trenches along the tree line, a small group would stay to clear the position, while other troops with the vehicle would continue their movement towards the next fortification. As a result, all positions were cleared, and the fighters reported collecting a lot of trophies, such as machine guns, grenade throwers, sniper rifles, and ammunition.

In the meantime, Ukrainian artillery has increased their focus on this flank and started undermining the next Russian positions on the line. Geolocated footage showed how Ukrainians set on fire a Russian shelter just south of Ivanivske. Russians tried to extinguish the fire, however, in the end, they just chose to abandon their positions and ran towards Klischiivka.

Unfortunately for Russians, Ukrainian artillery is also actively firing at Russian positions in Klischiivka. Recently released footage shows how Ukrainians started destroying Russian warehouses with fuel and ammunition. The coordinated work with drone reconnaissance and artillery resulted in the destruction of at least two warehouses.

Ukrainian artillery crews also fired at Russian objects in a small settlement south of Klischiivka. After several strikes, Ukrainian drone operators also noticed an increased movement of vehicles. It looks like the Russians got concerned about the strikes together with the recent front-line penetrations and decided to relocate their equipment before the artillery destroyed it. However, thanks to the drone operator, the artillery fire followed Russians through the field, destroying multiple pieces of equipment.

The fact that Ukrainians increased the area of operation from 3 km to 6 km, cleared almost all Russian positions west of Kurdiumivka, forced Russians to abandon their positions south of Ivanivske, and destroyed multiple warehouses and pieces of equipment around Klischiivka, suggests that most undersupplied and tactically vulnerable part of the front line is the forest. Now, as their supplies are essentially cut, Ukrainians can attack them from several directions at once, provide fire support west of the canal, and they should run out of supplies in a matter of hours. Given that there is only one retreat route along the tree line, which is also under fire control, the chances of survival, even during the retreat, are very slim. Once the forest is cleared, Ukrainians can safely move along the canal and attack not only Klishchiivka but also Andriivka and Kurdiumivka. And once a powerful bridgehead east of the canal is established, Ukrainians can use this ground to launch a large-scale mechanized assault to start encircling the Wagner Group from the south.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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