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Frontline report: Ukrainians continue advancing in Zaporizhzhia Oblast; Russian counterattacks on Piatykhatky fail

Frontline report
Ukrainian advance near Piatykhatky, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Screenshot from the video.
Frontline report: Ukrainians continue advancing in Zaporizhzhia Oblast; Russian counterattacks on Piatykhatky fail
Article by: Reporting from Ukraine
Ukrainian forces keep advancing on the southern front, from Piatyhatky to Zherebianky in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The Ukrainians attempted to cut off Russian forces from support in Zherebianky and set conditions for their encirclement. Extensive fire control over the main Russian roads helped Ukrainian forces to repel Russian counterattacks on Piatykhatky and get closer to Zherebianky from the north.

Day 482.

A lot of updates came from the southern front today.

Ukrainian fighters released a lot of combat footage to dispel all doubts about the decisiveness of the victory in the battle for Piatykhatky. The videos show intense shelling and destruction of Russian positions as a part of the preparation for the Ukrainian assault.

The artillery preparation occurred between Piatykhatky and Zherebianky, exactly where one of the Ukrainian attacks was delivered. This attack allowed Ukrainians to achieve two crucial tasks: cut off Russian forces from support and set conditions for their encirclement in and around Zherebianky.

Frontline report
Ukrainian advance near Piatykhatky, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Screenshot from the video.

Next, Ukrainians showed how they used UR-77 demining systems on the approaches to Piatykhatky. Judging by the footage, the Ukrainians did not use it to clear the way from mines but rather eliminate Russian troops in a tree line in front of the Ukrainian positions in the forest.

After removing the surroundings and opening the gate for the attack on the settlement, Ukrainians identified the areas where Russians started creating the most significant pockets of resistance and used their artillery to suppress Russian fire and undermine Russian defenses. Such an approach allowed the Ukrainians to enter the western part of Piatykahtky.

The footage shows that the Russians rolled out their tanks in the center of the settlement and started demolishing the houses the Ukrainians used as cover. The subsequent fragments show how Russian forces began withdrawing their heavy equipment because of the dwindling prospects of a successful defense. The road that connects the two villages became the first axis of the Ukrainian attack. Ukrainian anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) crews ambushed and destroyed the Russian column.

Ukrainian drone operators also released plenty of videos, which suggest that kamikaze drones destroyed many Russian infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers. Such a rapid change in conditions allowed Ukrainians to pull their tanks closer to the village, as the footage shows Ukrainian tanks operating in the western part of Piatykhatky. Soon after, Ukrainians took the Storm Ossetia Battalion into a pocket and liberated the settlement.

Nonetheless, today in the morning, Russian forces attempted to launch a powerful mechanized assault and recapture Piatykhatky again. Unfortunately for Russians, Ukrainians established extensive fire control over the main Russian roads and spotted the Russian column already on the approach.

Geolocated footage shows that Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles entered the trap, faced destructive artillery fire already in Zherebianky, and the furthest the Russian vehicles got before being destroyed was around 50 meters out of the settlement.

Ukrainian fighters reported that after losing almost all equipment, Russian units had to continue their assault with infantry only, which did not work out well in this particular case. In the meantime, the Ukrainians continued moving forward. Today it was confirmed that Ukrainian forces conducted successful offensive actions in the vicinity of the first northern gully.

If we look at the topographic map, we can see that this area is very convenient for advancing because such a narrow gully allows Ukrainian troops to avoid crossfire. Given that Ukrainians already controlled Lobkove, such actions allowed them to fully secure the hill, from which Ukrainians could start assaulting Russian positions in the tree lines.

Today many Russian sources reported that the Ukrainians established fire control over the road that connects Zherebianky to Luhove, meaning the Ukrainian forces likely achieved significant success and got closer to Zherebianky from the north. The Ukrainians are using the same approach here as with Piatykhatky because the Ukrainian forces are once again putting their main emphasis on cutting off supply and support of the Russian grouping, isolating individual Russian positions, and setting conditions for an encirclement.

Even though it is hard to encircle Russian forces physically, Russian troops still have no escape: the road to the west is under total fire control, the fields to the south are mined, and the Ukrainians are advancing from the north and east.

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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