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Frontline report: Russia failed to capture Novomykhaylivka, which Ukraine holds for over a year 

With the help of the extensive minefields, Ukrainian defenders destroyed three Russian tanks and three armored vehicles in defeating a Russian repeated assault on Novomykhaylivka, Donetsk Oblast.
Map: screenshot from the video.
Frontline report: Russia failed to capture Novomykhaylivka, which Ukraine holds for over a year 

Day 593. 9 October

On 9 October, there was a lot of news from Donetsk Oblast.

Russian forces conducted another attack on Novomykhaylivka, Donetsk Oblast. As you can see, the settlement is located in a shallow salient, allowing Russians to attack it from 3 directions.

Map: screenshot from the video.

It is important to note that Ukrainians have been holding this settlement since the beginning of the war, and based on some unconfirmed reports, the main reason why this small village is such a powerful stronghold lies in the fact that Ukrainians have an extensive system of bunkers and underground tunnels for supplies. Moreover, the fields around the settlement have been densely mined for more than a year.

Russian forces still think they can override these hurdles by leveraging the territories under their control. Two weeks ago, Russian forces tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses by attacking them from the north with kamikaze tanks but quickly got stuck in the minefields and destroyed.

Map: screenshot from the video.

That is why, on 9 October, Russian forces tried to attack Novomykhaylivka from the south. Geolocated footage suggests that Russians decided to advance along the gully between Slavne and Stepne and then attack right along the tree line.

Map: screenshot from the video.

The assault unit consisted of at least three tanks, three armored fighting vehicles, and 50 soldiers. Interestingly, the tracks of the first tank were burning, suggesting that Russians ignited the field on purpose. One of the purposes of this trick might have been to reveal the mines. Ukrainians, for example, utilize this tactic very often, as Russians do not dig them in.

The reconnaissance drone operators from the 79 Assault Brigade detected the assault group when it departed. Russian forces barely reached the contact line when the Ukrainian artillery crews received the coordinates and opened fire.

The first Russian tank was destroyed when Russians advanced 200 meters into the grey zone. Meanwhile, Russians needed to cross 3 200 meters to reach Novomykhaylivka.

Map: screenshot from the video.

After immobilizing the first-in-line vehicle, the assault unit got stuck, and the first batch of Russian soldiers started running away from the front. Ukrainian forces expected such a result, so when the drone operator communicated to the artillery crews that the vehicle was immobilized, they switched to cluster shells.

Soon, the tank was completely destroyed by a direct hit from an artillery shell or an ATGM. Nonetheless, the armored fighting vehicles behind the tank tried to move around it through the field and continue the mission. Russians got on a mine.

Shortly, another tank providing fire support from a distance was hit. Then, the remaining tank and two armored fighting vehicles were damaged, and the crew was seen fleeing the site.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Russian forces did not use demining equipment in this attack. They used it the last time to ensure a safe passage for a kamikaze tank, but not for the soldiers. This is not a coincidence because Ukrainian reconnaissance teams tracked down the demining equipment that Russians used and discovered where it was hidden.

As a result, several days before this suicidal assault, the Ukrainian HIMARS crew conducted a precision strike and destroyed two demining systems.

Moreover, Ukrainian fighters from this region report that Russians use a lot of prisoners from Storm-Z detachments in this region. Thus some analysts concluded that the Russian command did not want to adjust the schedule of assaults after the loss of demining equipment and ordered to attack without sufficient support and preparation. Such an approach led to the complete destruction of the Russian assault unit, including three tanks and three armored fighting vehicles.

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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