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Frontline report: Ukrainian forces expand bridgehead, eyeing Novoprokopivka encirclement

Ukrainian forces have made advances in the south, widening their bridgehead and pushing eastward, aiming to encircle Novoprokopivka; they utilize reconnaissance drones, intensified artillery fire, and increased aviation usage to target Russian reinforcements and positions.
Screenshot from the video

In the south, when it comes to the main axis of Ukrainian advancement, more information became available about the recent front-line penetration in the fields. Geolocated footage indicates that Ukrainians not only moved a little bit south and consolidated control over the newly captured positions but also widened the bridgehead.

This is extremely important because even though Ukrainians got deeper, the pathway was much narrower, increasing the risk of a devastating flank attack. Despite the fact that Russian forces are on the defensive, they are actively conducting counterattacks.

In order to secure their flanks, Ukrainians allocated their forces for the eastward movement inside the bridgehead. As a result, Ukrainians moved on average 1.5 km in the direction of Romanivske, fixed Russian troops around Verbove by forcing them to be on the defensive instead of planning counterattacks, which gave greater freedom of movement for those forces that were preparing to storm Novoprokopivka.

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Judging by the achieved progress, it looks like Ukrainians will try to engulf the settlement from the east. It is true that Ukrainians will shortly bump into the second line of defense and, therefore, likely stop gaining ground easily, however, it will simplify the storming operation of Novoprokopivka significantly and undermine the Russian supply line towards their positions west of Robotyne.

Recently released footage shows how Ukrainians are storming Russian trenches and fortifications near Novoprokopivka. The intensity of the fighting is extremely high, and Ukrainians have to constantly deal with the never-ending flow of Russian troops. But gradually, Ukrainians are pushing the contact line further and further. Many positions that Ukrainians recently had to storm and lose their vehicles are already in the rear, and Ukrainians can use these positions for keeping personnel for rotation and even accumulation of forces prior to the planned powerful attacks.

In order to alleviate the pressure on Ukrainian assault units and make their job easier, Ukrainian reconnaissance drone operators are surveilling the area non-stop with the goal of identifying and destroying Russian reinforcements. Recently released footage shows how Ukrainians spotted a Russian column and, in coordination with artillery crews, unleashed fire on the road. After seeing how the head of the convoy got under fire, some Russian drivers tried to turn around and flee. Unfortunately for the Russians, the artillery was ready to cover the whole road, so by trying to turn around, the driver slowed down the movement and ensured the destruction of more vehicles.

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Ukrainian operators of assault drones are also focused on Novoprokopivka. Because they do not rely on artillery support, they can react and destroy small groups of forces much more efficiently. Judging by the released footage, these drones primarily targeted infantry in the tree lines. In the meantime, drone operators from the 46th Brigade focused on destroying Russian armored fighting vehicles and personnel carriers that were delivering soldiers to the contact line. Finally, geolocated footage also shows how Ukrainian artillery is shelling Russian positions in the forest right above Novoprokopivka.

This is extremely important because it indicates that Ukrainians are preparing to storm this sector. If Ukrainians manage to establish full control over this small forest, then they will be able to control the road to Robotyne, preventing any Russian raids on the village and also controlling Novoprokopivka from above.

Russian sources reported that Ukrainians started using their aviation much more frequently as well. So far, the main purpose of using fighter jets was destroying Russian air defense systems and electronic warfare systems with HARM rockets. The immediate benefit of these actions will be received by the drone detachments, as they will be able to fly drones more freely and attack Russian forces concentrations located far behind the front line. Drone detachments have destroyed or helped to destroy staggering numbers of Russian personnel and equipment.

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.

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