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Frontline report: Ukraine uses new tactic to capture uphill forest on southern front

A Russian Ka-52 helicopter. Screenshot from video
Frontline report: Ukraine uses new tactic to capture uphill forest on southern front
Article by: Reporting from Ukraine
Ukrainian forces used an innovative battleground technique to capture a strategic forest near Orikhiv, but a Russian helicopter attack prevented them from securing gains in the Piatykhatky village on the southern front.

Day 478: News Update from the Orikhiv Region (Zaporizhzhia direction).

Today, a lot of news comes from the Orikhiv direction.

Following a brief hiatus due to unfavorable weather conditions for combat, Ukrainian forces have finally resumed their series of attacks.

The fiercest clashes occurred around Lobkove, where intense fighting took place.

In recent days, Ukrainians conducted several light-reconnaissance operations near Zherebianky. Today’s actions indicate that the primary objective of these attacks was to locate Russian firing points in Zherebianky and secure their flanks against potential counterattacks.

This morning, Ukrainians initiated their first assault in the direction of Pitykhatky. Considering the topographic map, Piatykhatky presented itself as the logical target since it is situated in the lowlands.

According to Russian sources, Ukrainians deployed 5 armored fighting vehicles and 2 tanks for the assault.

Furthermore, the Ukrainians have adopted a new tactic that has proven effective on the Zaporizhzhia front. They swiftly transport their assault units to the contact line using armored carriers, which quickly retreat while tanks provide distant fire support. Drone operators assist in assessing the ground situation.

This tactic yields better results than direct heavy assaults due to the Russians’ strategy of creating multiple small defensive positions instead of a single large fortification. It necessitates the high mobility of small assault units for optimal attack efficiency.

After an hour of continuous fighting, Ukrainians reportedly succeeded in driving the Russians out of the forest, which is a strategically advantageous position. The forest not only allows for concealment and concentration of assault units near two Russian-controlled settlements but also safeguards Ukrainian flanks against sudden counterattacks from Zherebianky.

Having achieved this initial success, Ukrainian forces prepared reinforcements to further consolidate their gains. Subsequently, they launched another series of attacks.

One small assault unit approached the Russians from the northern bank of the river, engaging them and reducing their mobility. Simultaneously, the second assault unit attacked the settlement from the southern bank, specifically from the forest.

After intense clashes lasting approximately an hour, Ukrainians managed to push the Russians out of the western part of the settlement.

Russian sources reported that Russian forces encountered difficulties in repelling the Ukrainian attack, primarily due to the Ukrainians’ use of Remote Anti-Armor Mine shells to mine roads leading to Russian reserves. Even with the arrival of Russian reserves, they lacked sufficient strength to deliver a decisive blow, resulting in a stalemate.

Both sides heavily relied on artillery. However, Ukrainians prioritized counterbattery fire over direct support for ground units, prompting Russians to respond in kind. Consequently, two separate battles unfolded simultaneously: one between infantry forces and another between the batteries.

To break the impasse, Russian forces requested airstrikes on Ukrainian positions. Subsequently, Russian assault helicopters Ka-52 arrived and engaged the Ukrainians with missiles. The Ukrainian General Staff reported shooting down one of the helicopters during the engagement.

In the end, it appears that Ukrainians had to retreat to the forest, failing to establish full control over the settlement at this time. Nevertheless, even prominent Russian sources acknowledge that the Ukrainians came close to seizing the village, indicating an imminent new attack on Piatykhatky.

This forthcoming assault is anticipated to be even more challenging to repel as the Ukrainians now possess a better understanding of the terrain and will avoid previous mistakes.

Following Piatykhatky, the logical progression will lead to Zherebianky, which, due to its local geography, will necessitate heightened coordination among multiple assault units in various directions, along with tactical excellence.

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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