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Frontline report: Ukrainians use deception, trickery to capture Staromaiorske

Ukraine launched deceptive operations from the east and west, and attacked where Russia least expected. More progress expected to follow
Ukrainian soldiers in Staromaiorske. Screenshot from video
Frontline report: Ukrainians use deception, trickery to capture Staromaiorske

Day 519.

Today there is a lot of good news from the Velyka Novosilka direction. Here, Ukrainian forces successfully fooled Russian commanders by imitating an attack in one direction and eventually breaching the Russian defense where they expected it the least.

Velyka Novosilka on a map. Screenshot from Video

Last time I told you that the main focus of Ukrainian forces became Pryiutne, and Ukrainians fixed Russian troops in the north and conducted a successful flank attack, penetrating Russian defenses by multiple kilometers. From here, it looked like the Ukrainians needed just one more push because they were already on the outskirts of the settlement. Such a development would mirror what happened with Novodarivka and Rivnopil, where Ukrainians penetrated the flanks and collapsed the whole defense line.

Russians understood that their defense was on the brink of collapse and reinforced this region with hundreds of troops, and even launched a counterattack. This reaction undermined Ukrainian plans; however, Ukrainians found a new opportunity in the changing setting. As Russians drained their reserves to plug the hole in their defense, it meant that other directions would necessarily suffer.

Ukrainian troops encircled Pryiutne. Screenshot from video

The first thing Ukrainians did was to imitate the preparation for a massive attack on Pryiutne to give Russians a false sense that they are doing the right thing. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians relocated several detachments from the 36th Marine Brigade to the western part of the region. Russian sources also reported that Ukrainians deployed multiple detachments from the 31st and 35th Brigades to the long gully. Russian analysts started raising the alarm that Ukrainians had formed at least three powerful assault units around Pryiutne.

Staromaiorske Ukraine counteroffensive
Ukrainian reinforcements near Pryiutne. Screenshot from video

In anticipation of a massive attack, Russian forces reinforced Stepove, Remivka, and Pryiutne even more. Soon, Ukrainians started launching reconnaissance-in-force attacks, which fixed Russian troops in this area. Suddenly, Ukrainians opened another axis of advance from the opposite end – Urozhaine. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians shelled the region heavily and then immediately conducted a series of attacks. Ukrainians reportedly used up to 30 troops reinforced with at least one armored fighting vehicle in each attack.

Russians reinforced Urozhaine, draining reserves. Screenshot from video

Russian analysts concluded that Ukrainians wanted to capture this village to start forcing Russians out of Staromaiorske and other settlements on the line by firing from the other bank of the river. After Russian forces drained their reserves even more by reinforcing this region as well, the intensity of Ukrainian attacks on Urozhaine started to decrease, and according to Russian soldiers, Ukrainians used no more than ten troops in each attack.

It turned out that Ukrainians were just fixing Russian troops because, simultaneously, Ukrainians increased the pressure in the center tremendously. Geolocated footage indicates that Ukrainians started hunting down Russian heavy equipment in and around Staromaiorske.

Most of the Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles were located in tree lines west of the settlement. This area is also located on the hill from which Russian forces protected the village. In total, Ukrainians destroyed dozens of pieces of equipment. Such actions reduced Russian combat capability significantly.

Ukrainians also targeted the areas of forces concentration in the village itself. Some Russian units were seen leaving their positions, which was a clear signal that Ukrainians could launch their main attack. The main attack happened west of Staromairoske.

Staromaiorske Ukraine counteroffensive
Ukrainians moved along tactical heights to the west of Staromaiorske. Screenshot from video

If we look at the topographic map, we can see that Ukrainians were moving along the tactical heights. Several hours ago, Ukrainian fighters confirmed that these attacks were successful, Ukrainians pushed Russian forces from the hills, entered the settlement itself, and established complete control over it. Combat footage reveals that Ukrainians stormed Russian positions with tanks.

Staromaiorske Ukraine counteroffensive

Overall, by methodically drawing Russian forces away from the main direction, Ukrainians managed to generate a rapid breakthrough right in the center. This is a complete disaster for Russians because now they are in a very vulnerable position in Urozhaine, which is virtually surrounded, and their defense in the fields is also fragile, as Ukrainians can just move along tree lines instead of attacking them in front. Very soon, we will see the collapse of the Russian defense in this region as well.

Staromaiorske Ukraine counteroffensive
The Russian defense in the region is expected to fall after the capture of Staromaiorske. Screenshot from video

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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