The 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade was relocated to Belgorod Oblast, as per Russian military bloggers. Screenshot from video
Today’s most significant news once again emerges from the north. Russian forces were unable to regain complete control over Russian territories on the first day, with the conflict spilling over into the following day.
By morning, the situation remained largely unchanged. After 12 hours of uninterrupted combat, Russian forces reportedly made only minor advancements in the northern part of Gora-Podol, while the resistance established positions in the southern part of the settlement.
Local residents uploaded several videos of artillery strikes and the resulting devastation. The passage of time worked against the Russians, as the resistance had more opportunity to build and equip defensive fortifications in the rear. This is evident in the geolocated video of the Russian Control Point.
Additional footage shows sandbags from the Control Point being used to obstruct roads and establish defense points. In the afternoon, the insurgent forces reportedly began to retreat from Grayvoron. Shortly after, the Russian Ministry of Defense declared the counterterrorism operation complete and all saboteurs eliminated.
Leading the counterterrorism operation was the notorious General Lapin, who lost all territories under his purview in the aftermath of the second Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv Oblast. Videos showed him marching on the main road, guiding his forces into battle. This caused concerns within the Russian media due to perceptions of Lapin’s incompetence.
A few hours later, it became clear the operation was not over. Local residents continued to upload videos with audible gunfire and explosions. Later, a Russian soldier reported that the Ukrainians still controlled Kozinka, Glotovo, and the Control Point. The soldier stated that the resistance was substantial, and they lacked the forces and support to recapture the settlements.
According to him, the insurgent forces were attacking Russian forces using tanks, mortars, and artillery. Geolocated footage corroborated the Russian soldier’s claims, showing mortar positions in Kozinka. It was reported that the insurgent forces had at least five times the amount of support as the Russian forces and were also reinforced by approximately 500 additional troops.
At the same time, local residents started reporting that the Freedom of Russia Legion had entered the Belgorod Oblast from the south. It was reported that the Ukrainians conducted artillery preparation and targeted objects in the vicinity of Bogun-Gorodok, Lozovaya Rudka, and Tsapovka. Sabotage groups reportedly entered Gorkovkii, Bogun-Gorodok, and Shchetinovka, moving northwest, possibly aiming to close the gap and effectively establish control over at least 300 square kilometers of the Belgorod Oblast.
According to Russian sources, Russian rapid-deployment forces, frontier police, and regular forces were deployed to prevent any further expansion of the insurgent forces. Russian military analysts expressed concern about the escalating situation as Ukrainians reportedly established at least three areas of visible force concentrations around the Belgorod Oblast: 500 troops near Velyka Pysarivka, 2000 troops near Udy, and 2000 troops near Lyptsi.
It appears that the insurgent forces initially retreated not because they were defeated but for three reasons:
- to draw Russian forces onto themselves;
- to complete their defensive preparations for the operation, luring Russian forces without suffering damage;
- and to receive reinforcement to hold the line firmly.
The insurgent forces exposed the Russian Army’s biggest current vulnerability: a lack of reserves. All reserves had already been deployed to the front. As a result, they had to utilize rapid-deployment forces from the Federal Security Service.
However, this approach wasn’t very effective. Firstly, these forces lacked heavy equipment like artillery. Secondly, a drone strike the previous day successfully hit the Federal Security Service department in Belgorod, likely causing confusion.
Footage from today clearly shows that the drone strike targeted the parking lot and also managed to breach the building. The head of the Freedom of Russia Legion reported that the reserves Russians scrambled to gather, specifically a Motorized Rifle Company, were destroyed. Consequently, Russia started deploying new forces.
The latest Russian reports claim once again that the insurgent forces retreated and Russians regained control over the region. However, even if true, it seems they’ve accomplished their mission as Russians began relocating their forces from the front. Ukrainian Intelligence reported that Russians began moving their forces from Ukraine to the Belgorod Oblast.
Russian military analysts confirmed this information, specifying that the Russian military leadership decided to deploy the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade to the Belgorod Oblast border area to counter current attacks and prevent future ones. This is a positive development for Ukrainians, as it relieves pressure on the fronts and decreases the number of available Russian reserves.
Reserves play a decisive role in successful defensive operations as they prevent a total collapse after the initial line of defense is breached. The declining number of enemy reserves significantly enhances the chances of a successful counteroffensive operation.
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.