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Ukraine continues counteroffensive on at least three sectors on July 20 – ISW

Ukraine continues counteroffensive on at least three sectors on July 20 – ISW

The US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War says Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front and reportedly advanced on July 20. 

A Ukrainian commander operating in the Bakhmut area reported on July 19 that Ukrainian forces advanced 1.8km likely on the southern flank of Bakhmut, and Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces also advanced on Bakhmut’s northern flank on July 20.

Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated that Ukrainian forces cannot rapidly advance near Bakhmut due to heavy Russian force concentrations in the area.

The Russian military command concentrated a high density of forces in the Bakhmut area to defend against Ukrainian attacks in the area, likely an intended effect of those attacks, though Syrskyi and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly restated their intent to retake Bakhmut.

Ukrainian military officials reported that Ukrainian forces continued advancing in the Berdiansk (Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia oblasts border area) and Melitopol (western Zaporizhzhia Oblast) directions and are continuing to advance by roughly 100 meters per day south and southeast of Orikhiv.

Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podoliak reiterated that the Ukrainian counteroffensive will be slow and difficult but will prevent Russian forces from retaking the battlefield initiative.

TheWashington Post reported that Ukrainian forces have begun using Western-provided cluster munitions in southeastern Ukraine and assessed that Ukrainian forces will likely use them near Bakhmut soon.

TheWashington Post, citing an anonymous Ukrainian military official, reported that Ukrainian forces are using the cluster munitions to “break up [Russian] trenches slowing down Ukrainian forces.”

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