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Frontline report: Ukraine degrades Russian rear positions near Bakhmut preparing major breakthrough

In preparation for a major offensive operation to retake Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces have conducted strikes on Russian equipment and positions behind the lines around the city.
View on a Russian BMP armored vehicle from a Ukrainian FPV drone moments before it hits it. Screenshot: Social media footage sourced from the Ukrainian military
Frontline report: Ukraine degrades Russian rear positions near Bakhmut preparing major breakthrough

Day 584: 30 September

Today, there are a lot of significant developments in the East.

Map: Screenshot from the video

After Ukrainians established total control over Klishchiivka and Andriivka and pushed Russians behind the next natural barrier and defense line in the form of the railway embankment, Ukrainians started preparing for the next comprehensive offensive operation to undercut Bakhmut from the south.

Map: Screenshot from the video

In order to make sure that the offensive operation is successful and ground forces penetrate Russian defenses much easier, Ukrainians started undermining the Russian defense by destroying not only Russian fortifications but also artillery, tanks, logistics, command posts, areas of forces concentrations, and air defense.

The first area of the concentrated Ukrainian work is between Kurdiumivka and Odradivka. Ukrainian fighters from the Patrol Police detachment released a video showing how they destroyed a Russian personnel carrier in a drone strike. The second target of the drone operators became an armored fighting vehicle evacuating Russian soldiers.

Screenshot from the video

The fighters also noticed a truck that was supposed to relocate Russian personnel, waited until it was loaded with soldiers, and destroyed it together with the Russians. Ukrainian drone operators from the famous 3rd Assault Brigade also contributed to the strikes, identified a position with enemy drone operators, and destroyed it with a single shot from M777. Lastly, Ukrainian drone operators from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade focused more on targets near Odradivka and destroyed at least one armored fighting vehicle.

The second area of the strikes is between Kodema and Klynove. Ukrainian Special Forces released a video of how they hunted down a Russian tank near Zaitseve. Simultaneously, Ukrainian fighters from the 24th Mechanized Brigade showed how they destroyed 2 more armored fighting vehicles, one of them with SMArt 155 artillery shell.

Next, Ukrainian drone operators from the 3rd, 93rd, 92nd, and 120th Brigades together joined their efforts in order to destroy a whole nest of Russian artillery systems around Klynove.

Map: Screenshot from the video

Their first target became a self-propelled artillery system Msta-S, the second one – BTS-4 armored recovery vehicle, the third one – a D-20 howitzer, and the fourth one – the largest mortar system in the world – Tiulpan. Ukrainian Special Forces amplified this operation by engaging HIMARS and destroyed howitzer Msta-B together with its ammunition.

Finally, the third area of strikes was deeper behind the front lines, where Russians had even more precious objects.

Map: Screenshot from the video

Due to the distance from the Ukrainian artillery positions, all strikes here were conducted with the help of HIMARS crews. Ukrainian fighters from the 92nd Assault Brigade detected and destroyed two artillery systems near Krynychne (Grad and Uragan), one howitzer Giatsynt-B near Popasna, and also a logistics center with hidden equipment.

Russian multiple rocket launcher in a deep rear area moments before being destroyed by a Ukrainian HIMARS strike. Screenshot: Povernys’ Zhyvym

Another wave of HIMARS strikes was conducted a week prior, when Ukrainians focused on destroying Russian air defense systems Buk. 2 such systems were detected and destroyed near the Russian command center of the airborne forces. Once the air defense was wiped out, the command center was destroyed with a single JDAM air bomb.

Overall, over the last 10 days, Ukrainians destroyed at least 15 pieces of Russian equipment, most of which were artillery systems, and also areas of force concentrations and command posts.

Map: Screenshot from the video

The destruction of the enemy artillery is one of the most important parts of the preparation for an offensive operation, as the success of the storming largely depends on whether the assault units can withstand the overwhelming fire.

So far, the dynamics are quite positive, and according to the latest reports, Ukrainian ground forces have gradually started testing the next line of the Russian defense in this region by launching reconnaissance-in-force operations.

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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