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Frontline report: Ukraine advances 1.5 km near Bakhmut, taking one of two main Russian fortifications near the city

Screenshot from the video of assaulting Russian positions south of Bakhmut posted by 3rd separate Ukrainian assault brigade on 3 July 2023.
Frontline report: Ukraine advances 1.5 km near Bakhmut, taking one of two main Russian fortifications near the city
Ukraine’s third assault brigade penetrated Russian defenses south of Bakhmut by 1.5 km, taking one of two main fortifications in the region. At the same time, other units secured the forest right near the city. Russian forces south of Bakhmut are now in a pocket and will likely have to retreat further.

After securing the western part of the canal south of Ukraine’s city of Bakhmut in the country’s east, Ukrainians launched the next phase of the operation, crossed the canal, and started taking Klishchiivka village into a pocket. After the Russians lost control over the forest, this part of their defense line became rather weak. Russian supplies were extremely undermined due to the extensive visual control over the fields and roads. Ukrainians exploited this weakness by unleashing their artillery on the main Russian logistical center of this group – Andriyivka.

In order to swiftly penetrate Russian positions and clear as much ground as possible, Ukrainians used tanks. The tanks advanced along the tree belts and used high-explosive shells to demolish Russian trenches and any other fortifications. Each such raid was immediately followed by an infantry assault that completely cleared and secured positions.

The assaults on the eastern bank of the canal were extremely successful because Ukrainians managed to advance by up to 1.5 km towards Klishchiivka, slowly penetrating the Russian rear.

And this is extremely important because the whole southern Bakhmut’s flank relies on just 2 powerful fortifications: one north of Kkishchiivka and one west of Klishchiivka. The fact that Ukrainians have advanced by 1.5 km means that one of these 2 fortifications has fallen. If we look at the satellite footage, we can see that this was an incredibly powerful strong point, which basically consists of a net of trenches right near the tree line. So, by conducting such a rapid advance, Ukrainians took Russians by surprise with such deep penetration.

Ukrainian 3rd Assault Brigade counted on such development of the events and was ready to push Russians non-stop. The moment the positions got cleared, Ukrainian assault units got deployed to the next one, the fighters entered Russian fortifications and steadily cleared the trenches, and took captives, which is shown on the video they published on 3 July 2023.

Ukrainians have also simultaneously capitalized on their recent gains in and around the forest to develop the second axis of advance that bypassed Klishchiivka and slowly set conditions for the encirclement of the main Russian fortification.

Today multiple Ukrainian fighters reported that Ukrainians have finally pushed Russians out of the forest south of Bakhmut. One fighter stated that today the forest was indistinguishable from hell. Russian sources reported that Ukrainian artillery was so concentrated on this particular region as if they aimed to erase it from the ground.

Overall, Ukrainians have penetrated Russian defense simultaneously from 2 sides and are effectively encircling the most powerful Russian fortification in this region. Ideally, they would aim to take it without a fight because not only is it one of the most extensive trench networks developed, but it is also located on a hill and near the village, which makes it very easy to supply the troops. It looks like this is not going to matter, and Russians are going to retreat to avoid being taken into a pocket. In fact, Ukrainian Intelligence reports that Russian commanders have already started moving their command posts further away from Klishchiivka, which signals that the level of confidence in Russian defense is very low.

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