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Frontline report: Ukraine tricks Russia in the south and establishes wide bridgehead

Ukrainian counteroffensive south front
In the south, Ukrainian forces managed to strike the Russians where they did not expect. Screenshot from video
Ukrainian forces managed to trick Russians and attacked from another direction on the southern front. Meanwhile, they also advanced in Bakhmut, executing a pincer movement on Klishchiivka. The Russian MoD, meanwhile, reported that it managed to halt Ukrainian attacks and claimed to destroy forces that nearly exceeded those used in the operation.

Day 467.

Day 467 brings a substantial amount of good news. In the Belgorod Oblast, insurgent forces are escalating the ferocity of their attacks. The commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps confirmed today that they’ve succeeded in liberating Tavolzhanka. The leader of Belgorod Oblast has confirmed that Russian forces have lost control over the settlement, suggesting a challenging outlook for Russians in the area.

Screenshot from video

Continued clashes have yielded significant results for the insurgents, with combat footage showing the destruction of at least four new tanks and armored fighting vehicles. The footage also confirmed the capture of Russian soldiers by the insurgents. In response to the Head of the Belgorod Oblast’s reluctance to organize a prisoner exchange, the leader of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin, announced that if Russian officials do not care about their soldiers, he will take up the task himself. This pronouncement presented the insurgent commander with an opportunity to create further discord between Prigozhin and the Russian Ministry of Defense. He announced that from now on, they would cooperate with Prigozhin.

In the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian forces continue to make gains. The Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense reported that they have conducted a series of successful assaults on the northern Bakhmut flank. Prigozhin has criticized the regular Russian army for allowing Ukrainians to infiltrate Berkhivka. Reports suggest that additional attacks were directed towards Dubovo-Vasylivka, Paraskoviivka, and Zaliznianske. However, without geolocated footage, these gains cannot be confirmed at present.

The situation on the southern Bakhmut flank looks even more promising for Ukrainians. As anticipated, Ukrainians have swiftly capitalized on their gains, executing a pincer movement on Klishchiivka. An on-the-ground detachment commander reported that Russians in Klishchiivka are preparing to abandon their positions, as Ukrainian forces have destroyed their regional logistics, leaving them without hope of support.

Screenshot from video

Ukrainian soldiers have issued a warning to the Russian soldiers to vacate their positions immediately or face death by artillery fire. Following a lack of movement, Ukrainians launched an intense artillery assault. Intercepts of radio exchanges revealed a sense of extreme panic and desperation among the Russian forces. After this show of force, the Ukrainians ceased fire and issued a final warning for the Russians to leave Klishchiiivka, as they are operationally encircled.

The most significant news of the day, however, comes from the south. Russian sources claimed that their forces launched a counterattack, pushing Ukrainians out of Neskuchne. They also reported that Ukrainians had launched assaults on the next settlement on the line, Storozheve, utilizing several motorized rifle companies. The Russians claim the attack was repelled, and the Ukrainians were pushed out of these two settlements. However, Ukrainian sources report they have captured Storozheve.

It appears that the Russians interpreted the Ukrainians withdrawing their heavy equipment from the contact line post-assault as a retreat due to their intense artillery fire. However, some analysts suggest that Ukrainians likely left light infantry in the trenches to hold the area while prudently moving their equipment away from the artillery fire. This strategy is unsurprising given the vulnerability of these small settlements to artillery fire and the intense use of incendiary munitions by Russians overnight.

In Novodarivka, it seems that Russian forces managed to regain control of the village. However, Ukrainians maintained control over the fields in front of the settlement, facilitating further assaults. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians launched an assault on Novodarivka and Rivnopil from the north, deploying up to one battalion tactical group. However, the primary Ukrainian attack came from the opposite direction.

The commander of the Russian Volunteer Battalion Vostok reported that the Ukrainians tricked Russian forces by appearing to reinforce small attacks in the western part, allowing them to close in almost undetected. As Ukrainians simultaneously jammed radio signals, the Russians were unable to request support and were consequently defeated. Ukrainians subsequently launched assaults towards Urozhaine and Novomaiorske. Like before, the goal was not immediate capture of the next settlements, but rather to expand the bridgehead and establish positions in the fields.

Screenshots from video

These highly coordinated actions enabled Ukrainians to achieve a challenging task – crossing the river, dispersing their forces, and establishing a broad bridgehead. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Ukrainians launched a large-scale counteroffensive operation but claimed it was halted by the Vostok Battalion, thus failing to achieve any objectives. They further claimed to have destroyed 30 tanks, 11 Leopards and an AMX-10, over 100 armored fighting vehicles, and 1,500 soldiers, numbers which nearly exceed the forces reportedly used for these attacks.

Lower-level Russian commanders on the ground reported a new issue: Russian forces are falling victim to their own mines due to the fields and roads being excessively mined. The increasing intensity of the Ukrainian counteroffensive seems to be causing Russian forces to make mistakes under immense emotional pressure. Reports indicate that Russian forces lost their best assault and reconnaissance drone operators just before the Ukrainians delivered their main blow. This means that Russian forces have put themselves in an extremely precarious situation: by mining everything around them, they might find themselves caught between attackers and minefields, cut off from reinforcements and retreat routes if Ukrainians attack from an unexpected direction.

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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