In an effort to weaken Ukrainian offensive capabilities, Russian forces have launched several offensives in the Luhansk region. The primary objective is to compel the Ukrainians to withdraw their artillery systems from Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut, thus alleviating pressure on the Russian defense in the south.
The initial attempts to breach the Ukrainian defense occurred near Kupiansk, then near Torske, and finally near Novoselivske. Fortunately, all these advances were successfully contained.
However, a recent fourth attempt by Russian forces yielded notable success. Just two days ago, the Eastern Group of Forces’ Spokesman declared that the Ukrainians had managed to halt the Russians and gain the upper hand. Regrettably, the situation has once again spiraled out of control.
Interestingly, this specific section of the front line had been dormant for an extended period. Both Ukrainian and Russian forces had been hesitant to engage in active combat here. Ukrainians avoided advancing due to the challenge of crossing the river and confronting well-supplied Russian forces from Svatove. Meanwhile, Russians refrained from crossing the river because they hadn’t fully established control over the eastern bank.
However, as a last resort, the Russians decided to move into this dormant region, leveraging the element of surprise. Geolocated footage indicates that the Ukrainians deployed less experienced troops to this area, using it as a training ground before deploying them to more demanding regions. Unfortunately, this also meant that the defense was weaker.
Russian forces first targeted a small forest in front of Novovodiane, followed by another small forest in front of Karmazynivka. The heavy and concentrated artillery fire forced the Ukrainians to abandon one forest after another, allowing the Russians to expand their bridgehead and advance from Kovalivka. Russian infantry quickly reached the small settlement of Novoehorivka, and conflicting reports emerged regarding its control.
Only consisting of a few houses, Novoehorivka holds strategic importance primarily for its tactical value. The intensity of the conflict revolves around the tree line near the settlement.
Recognizing the need to regain momentum, Russian forces opened another axis of advance from Raihorodka, shelling forests and nearby tree lines with great intensity. Ukrainian forces withdrew from Nadia and Serhiivka to avoid being trapped.
Despite Russian claims of capturing three settlements – Serhiivka, Nadia, and Novoehorivka, the small populations and limited infrastructure offer little logistical value. The true worth of Russian positions lies in their tactical advantage, as they seek to advance along ridges towards the main Ukrainian defense line along the hill.
However, as long as Ukrainians maintain control of the hill, they are well-positioned to repel further Russian advances. Russian reliance on infantry, as crossing the river restricts vehicle usage, presents an opportune scenario for Ukrainian forces to use cluster munitions effectively.
Recent updates indicate that the Ukrainians have stabilized the situation around Karmazynivka, while the situation around Raihorodka remains dynamic. Both sides are continuously pushing, and the Russian bridgehead’s proximity to the river poses challenges to establishing a permanent presence.
Ukrainian commanders aim to leverage their tactical heights while effectively containing the breakthrough without compromising other fronts. Gradual redeployment of artillery systems from Kupiansk and Lyman allows for measured and resource-efficient fire support.
Russian sources report that Ukrainians are preparing for a counterattack following heavy shelling. Ukrainian forces have launched small assault units reinforced with at least one armored fighting vehicle.
Though Russian forces are holding their ground for now, the tide appears to be shifting, indicating a cessation of the Russian offensive. If Ukrainians manage to push Russians back from this sector, the bridgehead’s proximity to the river will hinder any attempts at a permanent presence.
The outcome of this strategic challenge will soon reveal whether Ukrainians can render the Russian offensive unsustainable without exhausting resources from other fronts.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.