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Frontline report: Ukrainians storm Russian positions in Zaporizhzhia direction, face resistance

Ukraine counteroffensive zaporizhzhia orikhiv
Ukraine’s attack directions in the Zaporizhzhia direction. Screenshot from video
Frontline report: Ukrainians storm Russian positions in Zaporizhzhia direction, face resistance
Article by: Reporting from Ukraine
In their first attempts to storm Russian positions in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukrainians reportedly lost their first Leopard tank, and suffered losses in equipment. However, they managed to secure some settlements, including, possibly, tactical heights.

Day 470.

Today saw the most intense clashes take place in the Orikhiv direction.

Firstly, further information regarding yesterday’s attacks became available. With respect to Lobkove, Russian sources had claimed this village fell within the grey zone. However, today, they confirmed that Ukrainians had established complete control over the settlement and begun advancing further.

Reports indicated that the size of the Ukrainian assault group had doubled in order to capitalize on these tactical gains. Yesterday, Ukrainians had deployed 4 Humvees and 2 tanks. Today, they reportedly fielded 8 Humvees and 4 tanks.

Examining the topographic map, it appears that Russians currently hold a tactical advantage. To counteract this, Ukrainians must fix Russian troops in position while rapidly closing the distance, a feat now possible through the territory of Lobkove.

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Ukraine reportedly managed to capture Lobkove. Screenshot from video

Regarding the attacks south of Orikhiv, more information has also surfaced. Russian sources released combat footage following two Ukrainian attacks south of Mala Tokmachka, featuring real Leopard tanks. The first attack involved around 9 pieces of equipment, while the second attack employed approximately 11.

Ukrainian equipment involved in the assault in the Orikhiv direction. Screenshot from footage released by Russian sources/via Reporting from Ukraine

Regrettably, the first assault group encountered mines, enabling the Russian reconnaissance team to promptly spot the movement, call for artillery support, and repel the attack on approach. In response, Russian drone operators spent hours vigilantly monitoring the area and timely detecting the second group as well. This time, artillery fire, rather than mines, primarily thwarted the attack.

Ukrainian equipment involved in the assault in the Orikhiv direction. Screenshot from footage released by Russian sources/via Reporting from Ukraine

In total, Ukrainians lost at least 4 armored personnel carriers and 1 Leopard tank. Other equipment reportedly suffered damage and was later withdrawn for repairs.

Analysis of the footage reveals that Ukrainians advanced along the tree line and were halted just short of the H-08 highway. Consulting the topographic map, we observe that Ukrainians were advancing toward tactical heights.

Ukrainians swiftly addressed their initial missteps. Newly released footage reveals Ukrainians employing the M58 to clear mines from problematic areas yesterday. Moreover, demining operations took place in multiple oblasts to prevent the Russians from predicting the Ukrainians’ only viable path.

M58 demining areas in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Screenshot from video

The Ukrainians launched their attack before dawn to complicate early troop detection, and this strategy proved successful. Today, Russian sources reported that the first Ukrainian assault group reached the first line of defense and initiated close combat.

Interestingly, Ukrainians selected an area right between two separate Russian companies. This decision allowed Ukrainians to exploit coordination deficiencies within this segment of the front line. After establishing a foothold, Ukrainians reportedly reinforced the attack group with 10 armored fighting vehicles, including several tanks, and approximately 100 troops to support 5 attack lines.

At 5 a.m., Russian sources reported the loss of one tactical height, indicating that Russian forces were successfully divided. After receiving more reinforcements, Ukrainians immediately began storming Russian defenses on the next tactical height, which they shelled continuously for 3 hours. The fights continued almost until evening.

Currently, the aftermath of these battles remains unclear. Mainstream Russian sources reported that Ukrainians failed to capture additional positions. Less prominent Russian sources cited a soldier on the ground, stating that, in total, Ukrainians seized several positions but did not breach the main line of defense.

A Ukrainian soldier on the ground reported being able to sight Polohy through binoculars, further confirming that new tactical heights in the oblast were successfully captured.

Ukrainians stormed Russian tactical heights, but the outcome of the attack is unclear. Screeenshot from video

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed Ukrainians deployed 150 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, and that they repelled the attack, destroying 30 tanks, including 3 Leopards and 10 other armored vehicles.

This contradicts the reports of unofficial Russian sources who also allege substantial equipment destruction, but unanimously assert that Ukrainians are utilizing far more wheeled vehicles, such as Humvees, than tanks. Additionally, due to the ongoing media focus on Leopards, verifying losses has become more challenging as some sources started photoshopping Leopards into actual footage.

Overall, Russian sources reported that Ukrainians achieved success in only one out of five lines of attack. However, it’s crucial to remember that not all attacks aim to secure new positions. Like chess moves, some actions are designed to fix enemy forces in place, stretch forces as thinly as possible, distract enemy drone operators, spread artillery fire thinly, confuse enemy command about the main attack’s location, and create uncertainty about reserve deployment.

Zaporizhzhia offensive Ukraine
Ukraine reportedly had success in only one of five lines of attack. Screenshot from video

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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