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Frontline report: Ukrainians repel Russian counterattack and retain control of trenches near Novoprokopivka

On 3 October 2023, the most challenging fight took place in and around Novoprokopivka in the Tokmak direction of the southern frontline, where Russians tried to counterattack but were repelled.
Novoprokopivka, which is the next goal of Ukrainian offensive in the Tokmak direction. Source: screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukrainians repel Russian counterattack and retain control of trenches near Novoprokopivka

After Ukrainians conducted a series of attacks in the direction of the village, Russian forces understood that they could not hold defense tightly in the houses and decided to make a counterattack to regain control over the trenches in front of the village. Recently released footage by the Ukrainian side shows how a small Russian assault unit tried to attack the entrances in the tree lines. The Russians managed to close the distance and jump into the dugouts and other fortifications, complicating the job of the Ukrainian artillery. The footage also shows how a lot of shells explode in the tree line. However, the aftermath of the engagement was unclear. Moreover, Russian sources published a video that shows Russian forces striking a Ukrainian vehicle just south of the middle of the three trenches. Based on the available information, the Institute for the Study of War concluded that Ukrainians likely lost control over this part of the trench network, and the Russian counterattack was successful.

However, as it turned out, the Russian counterattack was actually rebuffed. Today, Russian forces published a video showing how Ukrainian forces are walking in the tree line. Once the Russian artillery opened fire, Ukrainian soldiers jumped precisely into the entrances of the trench network that Russians had tried to assault a few days prior, confirming that the whole defense line was under total Ukrainian control. Moreover, some analysts also noted that judging by the direction of the movement, the Ukrainian soldiers were actually returning from an assault or reconnaissance operation in Novoprokopivka, so the attacks on the village continued. Based on that footage, the Institute for the Study of War also reevaluated the situation and concluded that Ukrainian forces retook these positions and currently hold them.

An extensive trench network north of Novoprokopivka.

Recently released footage shows yet another Ukrainian night assault on Novoprokopivka. Given the area of operation of the Ukrainian forces, the whole northern part of the village is now considered a grey zone. The northern part of the village is located on the tactical heights, so if Ukrainians consolidate control over the empty ground, Russians will lose grip on the village, especially given that the Russian 1152 regiment that is responsible for the region is reportedly on the verge of losing its combat capability.

Over the last few days, Ukrainians have inflicted substantial losses on the Russian forces not only in terms of manpower, but also heavy equipment. Ukrainian Special Forces published a video that shows how they extracted information via an intercepted call about a big group of Russian forces that was meant to reinforce Novoprokopivka, sent reconnaissance drones south of Novoprokopivka for identification of targets, and detected five armored fighting vehicles, two trucks and a field ammunition depot in a tree line. In coordination with HIMARS crews, all targets were promptly destroyed.

Destroyed Russian tanks near Novoprokopivka

Another Russian column with reinforcements was detected west of Novoprokopivka. Ukrainian fighters from the Immaterium detachment identified five armored fighting vehicles, which were also destroyed by artillery. Another Ukrainian detachment identified a group of 4 Russian tanks east of Novoprokopivka. All four tanks were destroyed.

A Ukrainian ATGM crew also published a video of how they destroyed a Russian short-range air defense system just behind Novoprokopivka.

Finally, Russian forces also destroyed one air defense system themselves – as reported by Russian sources, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and they got hit by a train. As a result, Russians lost an air defense system, its crew, and also damaged the train that got derailed. The lack of heavy equipment in the Russian detachments that are defending Novoprokopivka is very good news for the Ukrainian assault units in this direction.

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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